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The Best NFL Players From North Carolina

Updated October 9, 2019 2.4k votes 247 voters 7.3k 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!

  • 1
    Julius Peppers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    158
    24

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Torry Holt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    105
    19

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Keenan Allen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    105
    25

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Jimmy Graham is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    89
    29

    Jimmy Graham

    Goldsboro, North Carolina

    PositionTight end

    Age33

    TeamsGreen Bay Packers

    Jimmy Graham (born November 24, 1986) is an American football tight end for the Green Bay... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Jaire Alexander is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    62
    16

    Jaire Alexander

    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Jaire Zakar Alexander is an American football cornerback for the Green Bay Packers of the... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Tarik Cohen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    71
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Mario Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    67
    25

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Dwight Clark is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    64
    24

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Bruce Matthews is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    54
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Jack Tatum is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    46
    16

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Dwight Stephenson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    41
    13

    Dwight Stephenson

    Murfreesboro, North Carolina

    PositionCenter

    Dwight Eugene Stephenson (born November 20, 1957) is a former professional American football... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Willie Parker is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    39
    15

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Sonny Jurgensen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    43
    19

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Bobby Bell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    39
    16

    Bobby Bell

    Shelby, North Carolina

    PositionDefensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    Age80

    Bobby Lee Bell Sr (born June 17, 1940) is a former professional American football linebacker... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Adrian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    37
    16

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Bruce Carter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    30
    9

    Bruce Carter

    Havelock, North Carolina

    PositionLinebacker

    Age32

    TeamsDallas Cowboys

    Bruce Edward Carter (born February 19, 1988) is an American football linebacker that is... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Cortland Finnegan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    33
    15

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Mike Quick is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    26
    9

    Mike Quick

    Hamlet, North Carolina

    PositionWide receiver

    Age61

    Michael Anthony Quick (born May 14, 1959) is a former American football wide receiver. He... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Haywood Jeffires is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    24
    6

    Haywood Jeffires

    Greensboro, North Carolina

    PositionWide receiver

    Age55

    Haywood Franklin Jeffires (pronounced "Jeffries"; born December 12, 1964) is a former... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Natrone Means is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    25
    9

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Alge Crumpler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    26
    12

    Alge Crumpler

    Greenville, North Carolina

    PositionTight end

    Age42

    TeamsAtlanta Falcons, New England Patriots

    Algernon Darius Crumpler (; born December 23, 1977) is a former American football tight end... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Yancey Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    23
    9

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Leonard Little is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    29
    16

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Roman Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
    22
    10

    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 on Wikipedia
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