Ranking the Best Cincinnati Bengals Players of All Time

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Anthony Muñoz announces a Cincinnati Bengals draft pick
(AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Jul 26, 2023, 5:34 PM
  • Only one Hall of Famer has played his entire career with the Bengals.
  • Two Bengals have won MVP awards.

The Cincinnati Bengals may not have a Super Bowl to their name – yet – but the stripes of southwestern Ohio nonetheless have decades of impressive football to be proud of. 

One Hall-of-Fame player has played his entire career with Cincinnati, while two more have won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award in Ohio’s Queen City. Several more have recorded 100 or more starts in black and orange on their way to Canton. 

Here’s an outsider’s look at some of the greatest Bengals ever.

Ranking the Best Cincinnati Bengals Players of All Time

RankPlayerPositionYears
1Anthony MuñozOT1980-92
2Ken AndersonQB1971-86
3Boomer EsiasonQB1984-92, 1997
4Geno AtkinsDT2010-20
5 Chad JohnsonWR2001-10
6Ken RileyDB1969-83
7Tim KrumrieDL1983-94
8Cris CollinsworthWR1981-88
9Isaac CurtisWR1973-84
10Corey DillonRB1997-2003

10. Corey Dillon

Corey Dillon is the Bengals’ all-time rushing leader with 8,061 yards. The running back, who made the Pro Bowl four times, is also third with 45 rushing touchdowns. 

9. Isaac Curtis

Bengals wide receiver Isaac Curtis made the Pro Bowl on four occasions. He’s third on the franchise’s all-time receiving list with 7,101 yards, behind only another member of this list and AJ Green, who is still playing but totaled 9,430 yards during his Cincinnati tenure.

8. Cris Collinsworth

Cris Collinsworth isn’t as high on Cincinnati’s all-time receiving list, as he’s fifth with 6,698 yards and sixth with 417 receptions, but he did that in only eight seasons. He made an impact quickly, earning a Pro Bowl nod each of his first three years in the league.

7. Tim Krumrie

Tim Krumrie is among the greatest defensive tackles in franchise history. In 188 games played, he totaled 1,017 tackles, 34.5 sacks and 13 fumble recoveries on the way to two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro selection. 

6. Ken Riley

Ken Riley is the highest defender on this list. In 207 games with the Bengals, the one-time All-Pro defensive back is first on the Bengals all-time interceptions list with 65, which is 32 more than anyone else.

5. Chad Johnson

As Chad Johnson or Chad Ochocinco, the wide receiver was among the best at his position during his time. The six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro is first in the franchise record books for receiving yards (10,783) and catches (751).

4. Geno Atkins

We’re getting into Mt. Rushmore territory now, and Atkins is certainly worthy. The not-quite-yet Hall of Famer was a rare pass-rushing defensive tackle, ranking second in franchise history with 75.5 sacks despite playing inside. He was a three-time All-Pro and named to the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade team.

3. Boomer Esiason

Boomer Esiason is one of the MVP (1988) quarterbacks who played for the Bengals. He’s third in franchise history in passing yards (27,149) and touchdowns (187) and accumulated four Pro Bowl and one All-Pro accolades.

2. Ken Anderson

Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson was the NFL MVP in 1981 and was an All-Pro that year while earning Pro Bowl recognition in four seasons. He’s also the franchise leader in passing yards (32,838) and is second in passing touchdowns (197).

1. Anthony Muñoz

Offensive tackle Anthony Muñoz is the only Hall of Famer who played his entire career with Cincinnati. He earned 11 Pro Bowl nods and nine All-Pro selections during his 13 seasons and 185 games played.

All-Time Bengals Honorable Mention:

There were a few many important names to fit inside of a top 10, so I’ve created a separate section here to honor a few more legendary Bengals players.

  • Lemar Parrish: One of the staple DB/KR’s of the 1970s, Parrish started 105 games for Cincinnati and was selected for six Pro Bowls, which trailed only Munoz for much of the franchise’s history. (A.J. Green and Atkins have since passed him.)
  • Willie Anderson: Few tackles in NFL history can compare to Munoz, but Willie Anderson was darn good, earning a whopping 173 starts (and four consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2003-06) for the Stripes.
  • Jim Breech: Kicker Jim Breech owns the Bengals all-time record with 1,151 points. During his time with Cincinnati, he made 225 of 313 field goals and 476 of 494 extra points.
  • Joe Burrow & Ja’Marr Chase: How long does greatness need to be sustained before it’s okay to acknowledge it? The Burrow-to-Chase NFL connection is still in its relative infancy, yet the entire NFL already fears it as one of the most horrifyingly effective pass/catch combos in modern football. It’s hard to say how long anything will last in a hard cap league like the NFL, but it’s clear that few talents in franchise history shine as brightly as the current centerpiece of the Bengals’ offense.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.