Sports

The Best NFL Players From North Carolina 

Ranker NFL
Updated October 9, 2019 1.6k votes 230 voters 6.6k views 59 items

List Rules Vote 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!

list ordered by
1
Julius Peppers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Defensive end from Wilson, North Carolina

Age: 35

Teams: North Carolina Tar Heels football, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers

Julius Frazier Peppers (born January 18, 1980) is a former American football defensive end. He played college football at North Carolina, where he was recognized as a unanimous All-American, and ...more
2
Torry Holt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina

Age: 39

Teams: NC 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 a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons. He was named to the Pro ...more
3
Keenan Allen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Keenan Allen Wide receiver from Greensboro, North Carolina

Age: 23

Teams: Los Angeles Chargers

Keenan Alexander Allen (born April 27, 1992) is an American football wide receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the ...more
4
Jimmy Graham is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Tight end from Goldsboro, North Carolina

Age: 29

Teams: Green Bay Packers

Jimmy Graham (born November 24, 1986) is an American football tight end for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He played only one year of college football at Miami, ...more
5
Tarik Cohen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina

Teams: Chicago Bears

Tarik Cohen (born July 26, 1995) is an American football running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). Cohen played the same position for North Carolina Agricultural ...more
6
Mario Williams is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Outside Linebacker and Defensive end from Richlands, North Carolina

Age: 30

Teams: NC State Wolfpack football, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans

Mario Jerrel Williams (born January 31, 1985) is a former American football defensive end. He played college football for North Carolina State University, and was selected first overall by the ...more
7
Jaire Alexander is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Jaire Zakar Alexander is an American football cornerback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Louisville, and was drafted by the Packers ...more
8
Dwight Clark is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Dwight Clark Tight end and Wide receiver from Kinston, North Carolina, United States of America

Age: 58

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Clemson Tigers football

Dwight Edward Clark (January 8, 1957 – June 4, 2018) was an American football wide receiver and executive. He played nine seasons for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League ...more
9
Bruce Matthews is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Tackle and Guard from Raleigh, North Carolina

Age: 54

Teams: Tennessee Titans

Bruce Rankin Matthews (born August 8, 1961) is a former American football offensive lineman who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 19 seasons, from 1983 to 2001. He spent his ...more
10
Dwight Stephenson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Center from Murfreesboro, North Carolina, United States of America
Dwight Eugene Stephenson (born November 20, 1957) is a former professional American football player. He was a center for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) from 1980 to ...more
11
Jack Tatum is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Safety and Defensive back from Cherryville, North Carolina

Age: Died at 62 (1948-2010)

Teams: Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Ohio State Buckeyes football

John David Tatum (November 18, 1948 – July 27, 2010) was an American football safety who played 10 seasons from 1971 through 1980 for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers in the National ...more
12
Sonny Jurgensen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Quarterback from Wilmington, North Carolina

Age: 81

Teams: Washington Redskins, Duke Blue Devils football, Philadelphia Eagles

Christian Adolph Jurgensen III (born August 23, 1934), known better as Sonny Jurgensen, is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia ...more
13
Adrian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Safety from High Point, North Carolina

Age: 39

Teams: NC State Wolfpack football, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots

Adrian Lemar Wilson (born on October 12, 1979) is a former American football safety. He played college football at NC State, and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the ...more
14
Willie Parker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Running back from Clinton, North Carolina

Age: 35

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, North Carolina Tar Heels football

William Everett Parker Jr. (born November 11, 1980) is a former American football running back who played for six seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). After ...more
15
Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Defensive end and Defensive lineman from Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Age: 73

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

Carl Eller (born January 25, 1942) is a former professional American football player in the National Football League (NFL) who played from 1964 through 1979. He was born in Winston-Salem, North ...more
16
Bobby Bell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Defensive end and Linebacker from Shelby, North Carolina, United States of America

Age: 78

Bobby Lee Bell Sr (born June 17, 1940) is a former professional American football linebacker and defensive end. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of ...more
17
Bruce Carter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Linebacker from Havelock, North Carolina

Age: 31

Teams: Dallas Cowboys

Bruce Edward Carter (born February 19, 1988) is an American football linebacker that is currently a free agent of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the ...more
18
Cortland Finnegan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Cortland Finnegan Cornerback and Defensive back from Daytona Beach, Florida

Age: 31

Teams: Samford Bulldogs, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans

Cortland Temujin Finnegan (born February 2, 1984) is a former American football cornerback. He played college football at Samford, and was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the seventh round of ...more
19
Leonard Little is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Defensive end from Asheville, North Carolina

Age: 44

Teams: St. Louis Rams

Leonard Antonio Little (born October 19, 1974) is a former American football defensive end for the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League (NFL). Little played college football for the ...more
20
Mike Quick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Mike Quick Wide receiver from Hamlet, North Carolina, United States of America

Age: 56

Michael Anthony Quick (born May 14, 1959) is a former American football wide receiver. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Philadelphia Eagles for nine ...more
21
Haywood Jeffires is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Wide receiver from Greensboro, North Carolina

Age: 51

Haywood Franklin Jeffires (pronounced "Jeffries"; born December 12, 1964) is a former professional American football player who was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1st round ...more
22
Natrone Means is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Running back from Harrisburg, North Carolina

Age: 43

Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers

Natrone Jermaine Means (born April 26, 1972) is a former professional American Football running back who played for the San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Carolina Panthers of the NFL ...more
23
Yancey Thigpen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Yancey Thigpen Wide receiver from Tarboro, North Carolina

Age: 46

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers

Yancey Dirk Thigpen (born August 15, 1969) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played for the San Diego Chargers (1991), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1992–1997), and the ...more
24
Alge Crumpler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Tight end from Greenville, North Carolina

Age: 38

Teams: Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots

Algernon Darius Crumpler (; born December 23, 1977) is a former American football tight end who played in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons. He was drafted by the Atlanta ...more
25
Jethro Pugh is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best NFL Players From North Carolina
Defensive tackle and Tackle from Windsor, North Carolina

Age: Died at 71 (1944-2015)

Jethro Pugh Jr. (July 3, 1944 – January 7, 2015) was an American football defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys for fourteen seasons. He played college ...more