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Top 12 Mormon NFL Players of All Time


#3: Todd Christensen

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Photo from USA Today

Todd Christensen was one of the best running backs in BYU history, starting all four years of his college career (1974-1977). His success led to him being drafted in the 2nd round by the Dallas Cowboys. Christensen suffered an injury early in that season, but his career was far from over. He spent the bulk of his time in the NFL playing tight end for the Oakland Raiders, and finished his career as the best tight end in team history. He helped lead the Raiders to two Super Bowl victories, was named to five Pro Bowls, and retired in 1988 to become a successful broadcaster. Sadly, Christensen passed away in 2013 at the age of 57.

#2: Merlin Olsen

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Photo from Rams on Demand

Merlin Olsen was perhaps best known for his iconic roles in television series like Little House on the Prarie and Father Murphy--but what many audiences didn't know was that he got his start making life absolutely miserable for the quarterbacks of the National Football League. A standout defensive tackle, Olsen was named to the Pro Bowl an NFL-record 14 consecutive times. He's a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (he was an All-American at Utah State) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After his retirement, he became a well-known sportscaster who called four Super Bowls, and a television actor. Merlin Olsen passed away in 2010 at the age of 69.

#1: Steve Young

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Photo from ESPN

Few NFL fans will be surprised by this one. The great-great grandson of Brother Brigham, Steve Young is, without question, the best Mormon to ever put on football pads. Shortly after a successful college career at BYU, Young took over the San Francisco 49ers from Joe Montana, who was at the time the best quarterback in NFL history. Young went on to fill Montana's shoes better than anyone expected, leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory. Destroying defenses with both his powerful arm and his quick legs, he was named to seven Pro Bowls, won the league's MVP award twice, and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. Steve Young entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, the single best running quarterback to ever play the game.