RB Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions:
Sanders is one of the greatest pure players in NFL history and the best all-time to have never won a Super Bowl. He’s also another instance of a player who could have potentially won a Lombardi Trophy if he kept playing, and he’s the most painful instance. The reason for that is he could have been the unquestioned greatest running back in NFL history. He was already perhaps the most exciting running back in NFL history.
Coming off video game-like numbers at Oklahoma State, Sanders made the Pro Bowl in all 10 of his seasons in the NFL, leading the league in rushing yards four times and rushing touchdowns once. He was a six-time First-team All-Pro and a four-time Second-team All-Pro. He was the NFL MVP in 1997. In 10 seasons, he finished with 15,269 rushing yards, 2,921 receiving yards, 99 rushing touchdowns, and 10 receiving touchdowns.
More importantly, he was perhaps a season away from setting the all-time record for career rushing yards in the NFL. Amid a bitter contract dispute with Detroit, Sanders retired before the 1999 season and left the entire NFL world wondering what might have been. Either way, Sanders is the best NFL player to never win the Super Bowl – and that’s quite a large shame.