The NFL is by far the most popular sports league in the United States. Americans from coast to coast tune in on Sundays to watch their teams, and kids all across the country dream of becoming an NFL superstar. For a select few, that dream comes true.
Getting to the NFL takes a combination of natural talent and hard work, but growing up in the right place can also help. Certain states produced a much higher number of NFL players and Hall of Famers than others. These are the teams with the most Hall of Famers.
The reason some states produce more NFL players is partially the result of population size. On the whole, states with larger populations produce the most Hall of Famers, and many of the best players in the country were born in states like California, Texas, and Florida.
But population size isn’t everything, as certain states have produced a much higher share of NFL players per capita. This disparity becomes obvious when you look at the success of college football programs, as some are located in hotbeds of football talent, enabling them to rack up championships and churn out NFL-ready players. These are the colleges that produce the best NFL players.
Though many states are not known as football factories, all 50 have produced at least one notable NFL player at some point in league history.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the state where each NFL player was born, as provided by Pro-Football Reference, to determine the best player of all time from every state. To determine which player was best, we considered Hall of Fame status, Pro Bowl and All-Pro appearances, Super Bowl rings, and more.