It seems pretty simple to pick out who the best interior lineman was that the Eagles ever drafted.
Selected with the first overall pick in the 1949 draft out of Penn, Chuck Bednarik was a local boy getting the chance to play for his hometown team. A native of Bethlehem, PA, he left behind an illustrious college career where he was an All-American and Maxwell Award recipient. For the Quakers, he served as the team’s center, linebacker and sometimes even punted.
Bednariki’s football rap sheet is extremely impressive. He was a 10-time All-Pro selection, went to eight Pro Bowls (one of which he was named MVP) and helped the Eagles win two NFL Championships — one in 1949, the other in 1960. In the 1960 game, Bednarik made the game-saving tackle on Green Bay’s Jim Taylor to give legendary Packer head coach Vince Lombardi his only title game loss.
Nicknamed “Concrete Charlie”, Bednarik was known for being a ruthless hitter. You can ask Frank Gifford that, and he’ll probably agree. While Gifford was playing for the New York Giants, Bednarik laid a hit on him that knocked Gifford out of the game for 18 months.
After his playing days, Bednarik still continued to rack up the accolades. He is a member of the NFL’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams, as well as the 1950s All-Decade Team. Bednarik was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969. The Eagles made him a member of the franchise’s Hall of Fame in 1987, and his No. 60 was eventually retired.
Bednarik’s football successes all came after serving four years in the Air Force upon graduating from high school.
He’s currently living in the Lehigh Valley.