10 best NFL careers in Tennessee football history

NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages
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. 1953-1969. Doug Atkins (All-Time List). Doug Atkins. DE. player. . . Doug Atkins. 57

Doug Atkins is the first Hall of Famer on this list. The Cleveland Browns drafted him with the 11th overall pick in the 1953 NFL Draft. He won two NFL Championships, earned eight Pro Bowl selections and one All-Pro honor, and was named to the Hall of Fame All-1960s Team before being immortalized in the NFL Hall of Fame. 

While stats weren't always well-kept in the 1950s and 60s, Pro Football Reference credits Atkins with 94.5 career sacks, 11 fumble recoveries, and three interceptions. The Pro Football Hall of Fame also credits Atkins with one safety and one kickoff return for a touchdown. 

Atkins is the first player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He isn't what we would consider a typical defensive lineman in football today. His 6-foot-8, 257-pound frame allowed him to leap over offensive linemen to make tackles in the backfield while also returning kicks on special teams.