10 best Texas football football NFL careers

Earl Campbell
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Bobby Layne
Bobby Layne / David Boss-USA TODAY Sports

Teams: Chicago Bears, New York Bulldogs, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers. Bobby Layne. Bobby Layne. 50. player. . . NFL: 1948-1962. Bobby Layne. 2

Bobby Layne was truly the definition of a generational quarterback while playing for the Longhorns in the 1940s and for multiple decades in the early years of the NFL in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. He was also a star for the Texas baseball program during his collegiate career in the 1940s.

Layne still holds multiple Texas individual records and NCAA records that he established during his four seasons playing at Texas from 1944 to 1947. After a legendary career at Texas, where Layne was a two-time All-American quarterback, he was selected third overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1948 NFL Draft.

Layne was also selected second overall by the Baltimore Colts in the 1948 AAFC Draft. But Layne elected to play in the NFL; he just didn't want to suit up for the Steelers. The Steelers thus traded his rights to the Bears, where he played the first year of his pro career as the third-string quarterback.

After a couple of trades that landed him with the New York Bulldogs for the 1949 season, Layne started to show the special traits that made him such a special quarterback at Texas. Layne and the Bulldogs only won one game in 1949, but it was clear that something great was brewing in the second-year quarterback.

He was traded to the Lions in the early 1950s. Layne led the Lions to back-to-back NFL Championships in 1952 and 1953. He nearly led the Lions to a three-peat but fell short of the Cleveland Browns in the 1954 NFL championship game.

During this dominant stretch as the Lions' starting quarterback in the early-to-mid 1950s, Layne led the NFL in passing yards twice, rushing yards once, and passing touchdowns once. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and finished top five in the MVP voting in 1954.

Despite having some setbacks in the mid-1950s, including a leg injury that caused him to miss the 1957 NFL championship game, Layne was still one of the league's best quarterbacks throughout the latter portion of the decade. His efforts were still a crucial part of the Lions dominating the league and winning the NFL Championship in 1957.

Early in the 1958 season, Layne was traded to the team he refused to play for after he was drafted in 1948. He was still a top quarterback in the league with the Steelers over five years in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but never replicated the postseason success he found with the Lions earlier in his career.

When Layne retired following the 1962 season, he held the NFL career records for completions, touchdowns, and passing yards. He was easily one of the league's brightest stars in the 1950s, as he was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and PFR All-1950s Team.

Layne was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and the College Football Hall of Fame a year later in 1968.