The Signing Bonus
Covering Amateur Hour since 2009.

NFL’s Top 5 Hardest Hitters

So anyways I was watching SportsNation today and saw something that disturbed me greatly. The Top 5 hitters in the NFL were a little off in my opinion. I just thought I’d compose a list of my own. There’s some guys you won’t agree with obviously, but that’s what the comment box is for.

5.) Brian “Weapon X” Dawkins, SS, Denver Broncos

Sorry Brian, maybe 5 years ago.

Although I’m not an Eagles or Broncos fan, Brian Dawkins is one of my favorite players of all time. He’s one of the most ferocious hitters in the game today, an incredible leader/motivator, and he’s got a hilarious personality with all of his alter-egos. It’s a shame that his career is coming to an end because he’s going to be sorely missed by a lot of fans.

Dawkins dominated in Philadelphia for nearly 15 years from 1996-2008 and left a lasting impression on the fans there. He made 7 Pro Bowls, 5 first-team All-Pro teams, and 2 second team All-Pro teams. Also, he was honored by being selected to the Eagles’ 75th Anniversary Team.

He left for Denver prior to the 2009 season and wasn’t expected to produce very much, but he came in and showed that he’s just as dominant as ever, becoming the starting safety in the Pro Bowl for the AFC. He’s lost a step, but Dawkins is still delivers bone-jarring hits on the norm and is the cornerstone of a very good Denver Broncos defense.

4.) Brandon “Tank” Jacobs, RB, New York Giants

Who cares if he plays offense? Power is power.

Yeah he’s a runningback, but this Giant has anvils in his pads. Go ahead, ask Laron Landry if Brandon Jacobs can hit, he’ll tell you. Jacobs is an absolute monster on the field, standing at a towering 6’4 and weighing in at a hefty 275, Jacobs is almost big enough to be a lineman, but he’s also deceptively fast, he ran a 4.56 at the NFL Combine in 2005 when he was drafted out of Southern Illinois.

He uses that speed to transform his game from what you’d expect from a man his size to one that resembles a runner like Eddie George. Although he was slowed by injury last year, Jacobs was still an intimidating force on the field.

He’s turned himself into one of the premier goal-line backs in the game and has cemented himself as one of the best power runners in the game, maybe one of the best of this decade. Although his style of play lends itself to a short career, Jacobs has made the best of it, fully aware of that fact.

Again, it doesn’t matter which side of the ball Brandon plays on, he’s a force to be reckoned with and deserves to be on this list.

3.) Bob “The Eraser” Sanders, SS, Indianapolis Colts

If only Big Bad Bob could stay healthy.

Each year Bob Sanders has been healthy, he’s been the most disruptive defensive force in football. He’s won the NFL’s top honor for a defensive player, obviously, the Defensive Player of the Year award. He’s from a notoriously hard-hitting college; the former Iowa Hawkeye hits so hard that he hurts himself, and this has proven to be a problem.

Sanders has only played two full seasons. He was the most important player on the field in the Colts’ playoff run of 2007 all the way to the Super Bowl and gained a reputation for being extremely reckless, playing completely without fear.

He had quickly established himself as the best run-stopping safety in the NFL and at his peak, might be better than Steelers’ safety, Troy Polamalu. Sanders is without a doubt, the best pound-for-pound hitter in the NFL and if he could get healthy for a whole season, would easily back that up with his play.

2.) Patrick Willis, MLB, San Fransisco 49ers

He's taken over as the best all-around defensive player in the league.

This would usually be the spot reserved for Ray Lewis, the legendary middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, but Pat Willy is the future. Legendary linebacker Mike Singletary, now the head coach of the San Fransisco 49ers, has said that “I’ve already coached the two greatest linebackers – one that has already proven to be one of the greatest, and one who will prove to be.” He was speaking of these two men, Lewis and Willis.

Selected 11th overall out of Ole Miss in 2007, Willis has lived up to everything that they thought he would be. He’s been All-Pro each of his three seasons and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Willis is one of the most devastating tacklers in the game and routinely punishes ball carriers. This has developed him a reputation for being the game’s best player. He’ll continue to dominate the NFL for years to come and should go down as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history.

1.) Ryan Clark, FS, Pittsburgh Steelers

You know the McGahee hit, the Welker hit was bigger.

Now note that this post is not about the best defensive players in the NFL, if that were the case, Ryan Clark would probably not be on this list. He’s a damn good safety, but not even close to top 5 0verall.

Luckily for him, he’s probably the hardest hitter in the modern era. Sometimes a player just delivers a shot that takes your breath away. Clark layed out both Willis McGahee and Wes Welker in this fashion. The McGahee hit left many viewers questioning how long the Ravens’ running back had to live and the Welker hit made us do the same.

What makes Clark’s amazing ability to annihilate receivers coming across the middle even more remarkable is the fact that he has sickle-cell disease, which hinders his ability to breathe at times.

Well, he certainly made it very hard to breathe for a few of his victims, Ryan Clark is the hardest hitter in the NFL, deal with it.


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