Sports

The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin 

Ranker NFL
Updated March 28, 2020 2.6k votes 340 voters 8.6k views 52 items

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

Here’s a list of the best NFL players from Wisconsin. While they may not be the most glamorous collection of names on this list, all these players represent the state of Wisconsin with their blue-collar work ethic. They raise some big boys up in the Badger State as you’ll see by the amount of linemen who fill out this list of NFL players from Wisconsin.

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

list ordered by
1
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Defensive end from Waukesha, Wisconsin

Age: 26

Teams: Houston Texans, Wisconsin Badgers football, Central Michigan Chippewas football

Justin James "J. J." Watt (born March 22, 1989) is an American football defensive end for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Texans with ...more
2
Joe Thomas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Offensive Lineman from Brookfield, Wisconsin

Age: 34

Teams: Wisconsin Badgers football, Cleveland Browns

Joseph Hayden Thomas (born December 4, 1984) is a retired American football offensive tackle who played his entire 11-season professional career for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football ...more
3
Melvin Gordon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Melvin Gordon Running back from Kenosha, Wisconsin

Teams: Los Angeles Chargers

Melvin Gordon III (born April 13, 1993) is an American football running back for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Wisconsin, and was ...more
4
T.J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Trent Jordan "T. J." Watt is an American football outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of ...more
5
Travis Frederick is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Guard and Center from Sharon, Wisconsin

Age: 24

Teams: Dallas Cowboys

Travis Frederick is an American football center for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college ...more
6
Curly Lambeau is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Running back from Green Bay, Wisconsin

Age: Died at 67 (1898-1965)

Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau (April 9, 1898 – June 1, 1965) was a professional American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). Lambeau, along with his friend ...more
7
Mike Webster is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Center from Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Age: Dec. at 50 (1952-2002)

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Lewis Webster (March 18, 1952 – September 24, 2002) was an American football player who played as a center in the National Football League (NFL) from 1974 to 1990 with the Pittsburgh ...more
8
Jim Otto is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Linebacker and Center from Wausau, Wisconsin

Age: 81

Teams: Oakland Raiders

James Edwin Otto (born January 5, 1938) is an American former professional football player who was a center for the Oakland Raiders of the American Football League (AFL) and National Football ...more
9
Mark Tauscher is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Tackle and Offensive Lineman from Marshfield, Wisconsin

Age: 38

Mark Tauscher (; born June 17, 1977) is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the ...more
10
Jim Leonhard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Punt returner and Safety from Ladysmith, Wisconsin

Age: 33

Teams: New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Wisconsin Badgers football, + more

James Andrew Leonhard (born October 27, 1982) is the defensive coordinator of the Wisconsin Badgers football team. He is a former American football safety who played ten seasons in the National ...more
11
Lance Kendricks is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Tight end from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Age: 31

Teams: St. Louis Rams, Wisconsin Badgers football

Lance Ronnie Kendricks (born January 30, 1988) is an American football tight end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Wisconsin, ...more
12
Elroy Hirsch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Running back and Wide receiver from Wausau, Wisconsin, United States of America

Age: Died at 81 (1923-2004)

Elroy Leon "Crazylegs" Hirsch (June 17, 1923 – January 28, 2004) was an American football player, sport executive and actor. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 ...more
13
Alan Ameche is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Running back and Fullback from Kenosha, Wisconsin

Age: Dec. at 55 (1933-1988)

Alan Ameche (; June 1, 1933 – August 8, 1988), nicknamed "The Iron Horse", or simply "The Horse", was an American football player who played six seasons with the Baltimore ...more
14
Fred Thurston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Offensive Lineman and Guard from Altoona, Wisconsin

Age: 85

Teams: Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers, Valparaiso Crusaders football

Frederick Charles "Fuzzy" Thurston (December 29, 1933 – December 14, 2014) was an American football player who played offensive guard for the Baltimore Colts and the Green Bay
15
John McNally is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Running back from New Richmond, Wisconsin

Age: Dec. at 82 (1903-1985)

John McNally may refer to:
16
Dave Krieg is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Quarterback from Iola, Wisconsin

Age: 57

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Oilers, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, + more

David Michael Krieg ( KRAYG; born October 20, 1958) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). He attended Milton College and made the Seattle Seahawks as ...more
17
Rocky Bleier is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Running back and Halfback from Appleton, Grand Chute, Wisconsin

Age: 72

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers

Robert Patrick "Rocky" Bleier (ˈblaɪər, BLAI-yer, born March 5, 1946) is an American former professional American football player. He was a National Football League (NFL) halfback for ...more
18
Trae Waynes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin

Teams: Michigan State Spartans football

Trae Waynes is an American football cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan State. He was drafted by the Vikings in the ...more
19
Doug Free is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Tackle from Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Age: 35

Teams: Dallas Cowboys

Douglas Free (born January 16, 1984) is a former offensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Northern Illinois University and was ...more
20
Arnie Herber is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Quarterback from Green Bay, Wisconsin

Age: Dec. at 59 (1910-1969)

Arnold Charles Herber (April 2, 1910 – October 14, 1969) was a professional quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. He was inducted to ...more
21
John Matuszak is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin

Age: Died at 39 (1950-1989)

Teams: Houston Oilers, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs

John Daniel Matuszak (October 25, 1950 – June 17, 1989) was an American football defensive end in the National Football League who later became an actor. He was the first overall pick in the ...more
22
Tim Krumrie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Defensive tackle and Tackle from Menomonie, Wisconsin, United States of America

Age: 58

Timothy Alan Krumrie (born May 20, 1960) is a former American football nose tackle who played his entire National Football League career for the Cincinnati Bengals, from 1983 through 1994.
23
John Anderson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Linebacker from Waukesha, Wisconsin

Age: 59

Roger John Anderson (born February 14, 1956) is a former American football player. A native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Anderson played 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as a ...more
24
Matt Turk is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
Punter from Greenfield, Wisconsin

Age: 47

Teams: Houston Texans

Matthew Edward "Matt" Turk (born June 16, 1968) is a former American football punter. He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 1993. He played ...more
25
John Shinners is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best NFL Players From Wisconsin
leolarsson added John Shinners Guard From Hartford WI

Age: 73

Teams: New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Colts, and Cincinnati Bengals