Legends Ronnie Lott, Kenny Easley feel 1981 NFL Draft class is best of all time
The 2018 NFL Draft was highly touted for its bevy of potential star players. However, NFL legends Ronnie Lott and Kenny Easley feel this class and every other one pales in comparison to the 1981 NFL Draft.
It goes without saying that the 1981 draft boasted a number of Hall of Fame-caliber players. Lott and Easley even went so far as to tell Landon Buford of The Hype Magazine that it was the greatest draft class of all time:
“If you look at our draft class and examine how many numbers one picks and then go look at the all-decade team of the 80s,” Easley said. “Finally, research the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If none of those players in our draft class didn’t win the award then no one on the defensive side of the ball, in my opinion, will ever win it. If there was such a thing as the NFL’s version of the Original Dream Team, the 1981 draft class was it.”
Lott doubled down on Easley’s comments by pointing out the number of star players they had.
“Given that it produced so many players inducted into the Hall of Fame. It was an incredible run. A lot of those players were not just players who played eight to ten years most of them played substantially longer than individuals before or after them. Having the staying power that came with that group of athletes in the 1981 class, there was something in the water, which inspired a group of athletes to perform at a high level for an extensive amount of time.”
These are some bold statements, to say the least. However, they certainly carry plenty of truth. The 1981 draft class produced seven Hall of Famers. Aside from Lott and Easley, this class also featured the likes of Lawrence Taylor, Howie Long, and Mike Singletary. That said, they make a strong case depending on the criteria.
From a defensive standpoint, it is difficult to find a more talented group of players. Taylor singlehandedly changed the game during his time with the New York Giants while Singletary commanded arguably the greatest defense ever assembled. Meanwhile, Lott and Easley were easily two of the best safety’s in the game despite the latter’s brief career.
It is undoubtedly difficult to determine which class in the greatest in NFL history. However, any other player looking to make a case on behalf of his peers may have some trouble matching the kind of star power the 1981 draft class had.