Sports

The Best NFL Players From Illinois

List Rules
Vote up the top pro football players born or raised in Illinois

Here’s a list of the best NFL players from Illinois. The Prairie State is home to some bona fide tough guys who have put a quite a beating on their opponents every Sunday they played in the NFL. Some of the best football players of all time like Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, and Rodney Harrison came from Illinois.

Vote for who you think are the top NFL players from Illinois and add any of your favorites missing from the list!

Ranked by
  • Dick Butkus
    1
    Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Age: 79
    • Teams: Chicago Bears
  • Charles Tillman
    2
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: 41
    • Teams: Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football, Chicago Bears
  • George Halas
    3
    Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 88 (1895-1983)
  • Donovan McNabb
    4
    Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Age: 45
    • Teams: Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins
  • Otto Graham
    5
    Waukegan, Illinois, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 82 (1921-2003)
    • Teams: Cleveland Browns
  • Shannon Sharpe
    6
    Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Age: 54
    • Teams: Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Savannah State Tigers football
  • John Lynch
    7
    Hinsdale, Illinois
    • Age: 50
    • Teams: Stanford Cardinal football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos
  • Steve Atwater
    8
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: 55
    • Teams: Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Arkansas Razorbacks football
  • Rodney Harrison
    9
    Markham, Illinois
    • Age: 49
    • Teams: New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Western Illinois Leathernecks football
  • Simeon Rice
    10
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: 48
    • Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Hartford Colonials
  • Chris Hinton
    11
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: 61
  • Jimmy Garoppolo
    12
    Arlington Heights, Illinois
    • Age: 30
    • Teams: San Francisco 49ers
  • George Connor
    13
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: Dec. at 78 (1925-2003)
  • Ray Nitschke
    14
    Elmwood Park, Illinois, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 61 (1936-1998)
    • Teams: Green Bay Packers
  • Jim Hart
    15
    Evanston, Illinois
    • Age: 78
  • Bryan Bulaga
    16
    Barrington, Illinois
    • Age: 33
    • Teams: Green Bay Packers
  • Ken Anderson
    17
    Batavia, Illinois
    • Age: 73
    • Teams: Cincinnati Bengals
  • Red Grange
    18
    Forksville, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 87 (1903-1991)
  • Paddy Driscoll
    19
    Evanston, Illinois
    • Age: Dec. at 72 (1896-1968)
    • Teams: Chicago Bears
  • Michael Turner
    20
    Waukegan, Illinois
    • Age: 40
    • Teams: Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers
  • Ken Norton, Jr.
    21
    Jacksonville, Illinois, United States of America
    • Age: 55
  • Chris Zorich
    22
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: 53
  • Ron Yary
    23
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: 76
    • Teams: USC Trojans football
  • George Trafton
    24
    Chicago, Illinois
    • Age: Dec. at 74 (1896-1971)
  • Bryant Young
    25
    Chicago Heights, Illinois
    • Age: 50