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275 voters

The Best NFL Players From North Carolina

Updated October 9, 2019 2.7k votes 275 voters 8.0k views59 items

List RulesVote up the top pro football players born or raised in North Carolina

Here's a list of the best NFL players from North Carolina! Whether they're from Charlotte, Raleigh, or even Greensboro, football players from North Carolina have left their stamp on the NFL. Even some of the players from the Tar Heel state who aren't in the Hall of Fame yet have proven to be some of the best football players of all time.

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

  • Julius Peppers1
    168
    28

    Julius Peppers

    Wilson, North Carolina

    PositionDefensive end

    Age40

    TeamsNorth Carolina Tar Heels football, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers

    Julius Frazier Peppers (born January 18, 1980) is a former American football defensive end. He...  more
  • Torry Holt2
    109
    21

    Torry Holt

    Gibsonville, North Carolina

    Age44

    TeamsNC State Wolfpack football, St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Torry Jabar Holt (born June 5, 1976) is a former professional American football player who was...  more
  • Keenan Allen3
    110
    23

    Keenan Allen

    Greensboro, North Carolina

    PositionWide receiver

    Age28

    TeamsLos Angeles Chargers

    Keenan Alexander Allen (born April 27, 1992) is an American football wide receiver for the Los...  more
  • Jimmy Graham4
    96
    27

    Jimmy Graham

    Goldsboro, North Carolina

    PositionTight end

    Age29

    TeamsGreen Bay Packers

    Jimmy Graham (born November 24, 1986) is an American football tight end for the Green Bay...  more
  • Jaire Alexander5
    66
    18

    Jaire Alexander

    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Jaire Zakar Alexander is an American football cornerback for the Green Bay Packers of the...  more
  • Mario Williams6
    71
    24

    Mario Williams

    Richlands, North Carolina

    PositionOutside Linebacker, Defensive end

    Age35

    TeamsNC State Wolfpack football, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans

    Mario Jerrel Williams (born January 31, 1985) is a former American football defensive end. He...  more
  • Tarik Cohen7
    73
    28

    Tarik Cohen

    Bunn, North Carolina

    PositionRunning back

    Age25

    TeamsChicago Bears

    Tarik Cohen (born July 26, 1995) is an American football running back for the Chicago Bears of...  more
  • Dwight Clark8
    64
    23

    Dwight Clark

    Kinston, North Carolina

    PositionTight end, Wide receiver

    Age63

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers, Clemson Tigers football

    Dwight Edward Clark (January 8, 1957 – June 4, 2018) was an American football wide receiver ...  more
  • Bruce Matthews9
    58
    21

    Bruce Matthews

    Raleigh, North Carolina

    PositionTackle, Guard, Center

    Age59

    TeamsTennessee Titans

    Bruce Rankin Matthews (born August 8, 1961) is a former American football offensive lineman...  more
  • Jack Tatum10
    49
    17

    Jack Tatum

    Cherryville, North Carolina

    PositionSafety, Defensive back

    AgeDied at 62 (1948-2010)

    TeamsHouston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Ohio State Buckeyes football

    John David Tatum (November 18, 1948 – July 27, 2010) was an American football safety who...  more
  • Willie Parker11
    41
    14

    Willie Parker

    Clinton, North Carolina

    PositionRunning back

    Age39

    TeamsPittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, North Carolina Tar Heels football

    William Everett Parker Jr. (born November 11, 1980) is a former American football running back...  more
  • Dwight Stephenson12
    41
    14

    Dwight Stephenson

    Murfreesboro, North Carolina

    PositionCenter

    Dwight Eugene Stephenson (born November 20, 1957) is a former professional American football...  more
  • Sonny Jurgensen13
    43
    18

    Sonny Jurgensen

    Wilmington, North Carolina

    PositionQuarterback

    Age86

    TeamsWashington Redskins, Duke Blue Devils football, Philadelphia Eagles

    Christian Adolph Jurgensen III (born August 23, 1934), known better as Sonny Jurgensen, is a...  more
  • Adrian Wilson14
    40
    15

    Adrian Wilson

    High Point, North Carolina

    PositionSafety

    Age40

    TeamsNC State Wolfpack football, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots

    Adrian Lemar Wilson (born on October 12, 1979) is a former American football safety. He played...  more
  • Carl Eller15
    37
    15

    Carl Eller

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina

    PositionDefensive end, Defensive lineman

    Age78

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

    Carl Eller (born January 25, 1942) is a former professional American football player in the...  more
  • Cortland Finnegan16
    36
    14

    Cortland Finnegan

    Fayettevill, North Carolina

    PositionCornerback, Defensive back

    Age36

    TeamsSamford Bulldogs, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans

    Cortland Temujin Finnegan (born February 2, 1984) is a former American football cornerback. He...  more
  • Bobby Bell17
    37
    17

    Bobby Bell

    Shelby, North Carolina

    PositionDefensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    Age75

    Bobby Lee Bell Sr (born June 17, 1940) is a former professional American football linebacker...  more
  • Mike Quick18
    31
    10

    Mike Quick

    Hamlet, North Carolina

    PositionWide receiver

    Age56

    Michael Anthony Quick (born May 14, 1959) is a former American football wide receiver. He...  more
  • Haywood Jeffires19
    29
    13

    Haywood Jeffires

    Greensboro, North Carolina

    PositionWide receiver

    Age55

    Haywood Franklin Jeffires (pronounced "Jeffries"; born December 12, 1964) is a former...  more
  • Natrone Means20
    27
    10

    Natrone Means

    Harrisburg, North Carolina

    PositionRunning back

    Age48

    TeamsJacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers

    Natrone Jermaine Means (born April 26, 1972) is a former professional American Football...  more
  • Bruce Carter21
    32
    19

    Bruce Carter

    Havelock, North Carolina

    PositionLinebacker

    Age32

    TeamsDallas Cowboys

    Bruce Edward Carter (born February 19, 1988) is an American football linebacker that is...  more
  • Yancey Thigpen22
    24
    10

    Yancey Thigpen

    Tarboro, North Carolina

    PositionWide receiver

    Age51

    TeamsPittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers

    Yancey Dirk Thigpen (born August 15, 1969) is a former professional American football wide...  more
  • Roman Gabriel23
    24
    12

    Roman Gabriel

    Wilmington, North Carolina

    PositionQuarterback

    Age80

    TeamsLos Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles

    Roman Ildonzo Gabriel Jr. (born August 5, 1940) is a former American football player. He...  more
  • Leonard Little24
    27
    17

    Leonard Little

    Asheville, North Carolina

    PositionDefensive end

    Age45

    TeamsSt. Louis Rams

    Leonard Antonio Little (born October 19, 1974) is a former American football defensive end for...  more
  • Jethro Pugh25
    20
    9

    Jethro Pugh

    Windsor, North Carolina

    PositionDefensive tackle, Tackle, Defensive lineman

    Age76

    Jethro Pugh Jr. (July 3, 1944 – January 7, 2015) was an American football defensive tackle in...  more