Special Report

This Is the Best NFL Players of All Time From Every State

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Getting to the NFL takes a combination of natural talent and hard work, but growing up in the right place can also help. A large portion of NFL players hail from large states like California, Texas, and Florida. Yet some smaller states produce an outsized share of great NFL players.

24/7 Tempo reviewed the birthplace and career accomplishments of NFL players throughout league history 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, using data from Pro-Football Reference.

The concentration of talented football players in certain states has allowed college football programs in the region to excel by recruiting from a large talent pool. These schools consistently win championships and churn out NFL-ready players. These are the colleges that produce the best NFL players.

Most states are not known for producing football players. Some small, rural states do not have a strong high school football culture, while others may be better known for producing pros in other sports like hockey or basketball. But there have been at least a handful of NFL players born in all 50 states. Smaller states like Delaware and Maine have never produced a player with any Pro Bowl appearances or Super Bowl rings, while the best players from Connecticut and Wyoming have been retired for decades.

Click here to see the best NFL player from your state.

Source: Brian Bahr / Getty Images

Alabama: Terrell Owens, WR
> Birthplace: Alexander City
> Years active: 1996-2010
> Primary team(s): San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles
> Honors: 6x Pro Bowl, 5x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: DeMarcus Ware

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Source: Brian Bahr / Getty Images

Alaska: Mark Schlereth, G
> Birthplace: Anchorage
> Years active: 1989-2000
> Primary team(s): Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos
> Honors: 2x Pro Bowl, 3x Super Bowl champion
> Also considered: Steve Smith

Source: Joe Kohen / Getty Images

Arizona: Randall McDaniel, G
> Birthplace: Phoenix
> Years active: 1988-2001
> Primary team(s): Minnesota Vikings
> Honors: 12x Pro Bowl, 7x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Darren Woodson

Source: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Arkansas: Cortez Kennedy, DT
> Birthplace: Osceola
> Years active: 1990-2000
> Primary team(s): Seattle Seahawks
> Honors: 8x Pro Bowl, 3x All-pro, Defensive Player of the Year, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Willie Roaf

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Source: Elsa / Getty Images

California: Tom Brady, QB
> Birthplace: San Mateo
> Years active: 2000-present
> Primary team(s): New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
> Honors: 14x Pro Bowl, 3x All-pro, 3x MVP, 6x Super Bowl champion
> Also considered: Aaron Rodgers

Source: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

Colorado: Calais Campbell, DE
> Birthplace: Denver
> Years active: 2008-present
> Primary team(s): Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars
> Honors: 5x Pro Bowl, All-pro
> Also considered: Dutch Clark

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Source: Topps / connecticuthistory.org

Connecticut: Andy Robustelli, DE
> Birthplace: Stamford
> Years active: 1951-1964
> Primary team(s): Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants
> Honors: 7x Pro Bowl, 6x All-pro, 2x NFL champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Dwight Freeney

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Delaware: Luke Petitgout, T
> Birthplace: Milford
> Years active: 1999-2007
> Primary team(s): New York Giants
> Honors: None
> Also considered: Eddie Michaels

Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

Florida: Ray Lewis, LB
> Birthplace: Bartow
> Years active: 1996-2012
> Primary team(s): Baltimore Ravens
> Honors: 13x Pro Bowl, 7x All-pro, 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 2x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Deion Sanders

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Source: Markus Boesch / Allsport / Getty Images

Georgia: Jim Brown, FB
> Birthplace: St. Simons Island
> Years active: 1957-1965
> Primary team(s): Cleveland Browns
> Honors: 9x Pro Bowl, 8x All-pro, 3x MVP, NFL champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: John Hannah

Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Hawaii: Olin Kreutz, C
> Birthplace: Honolulu
> Years active: 1998-2011
> Primary team(s): Chicago Bears
> Honors: 6x Pro Bowl, All-pro
> Also considered: Max Unger

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Source: Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images

Idaho: Larry Wilson, S
> Birthplace: Rigby
> Years active: 1960-1972
> Primary team(s): St. Louis Cardinals
> Honors: 8x Pro Bowl, 5x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Jordan Gross

Source: Skip Bolen / Getty Images for Fox Cable Network

Illinois: Dick Butkus, LB
> Birthplace: Chicago
> Years active: 1965-1973
> Primary team(s): Chicago Bears
> Honors: 8x Pro Bowl, 5x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Otto Graham

Source: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Indiana: Rod Woodson, CB/S
> Birthplace: Fort Wayne
> Years active: 1987-2003
> Primary team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens
> Honors: 11x Pro Bowl, 6x All-pro, Defensive Player of the Year, Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Bob Griese

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Source: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Iowa: Kurt Warner, QB
> Birthplace: Burlington
> Years active: 1998-2009
> Primary team(s): St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals
> Honors: 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All-pro, 2x MVP, Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Marshal Yanda

Source: Rick Stewart / Allsport / Getty Images

Kansas: Barry Sanders, RB
> Birthplace: Wichita
> Years active: 1989-1998
> Primary team(s): Detroit Lions
> Honors: 10x Pro Bowl, 6x All-pro, MVP, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Gale Sayers

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Source: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Kentucky: Paul Hornung, HB
> Birthplace: Louisville
> Years active: 1957-1966
> Primary team(s): Green Bay Packers
> Honors: 2x Pro Bowl, 2x All-pro, MVP, 4x NFL champion, Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Champ Bailey

Source: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Louisiana: Peyton Manning, QB
> Birthplace: New Orleans
> Years active: 1998-2015
> Primary team(s): Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos
> Honors: 14x Pro Bowl, 7x All-pro, 5x MVP, 2x Super Bowl champion
> Also considered: Marshall Faulk

Source: asu.edu

Maine: Al Harris, LB/DE
> Birthplace: Bangor
> Years active: 1979-1990
> Primary team(s): Chicago Bears
> Honors: None
> Also considered: John Bunting

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Source: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

Maryland: NaVorro Bowman, LB
> Birthplace: District Heights
> Years active: 2010-2017
> Primary team(s): San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders
> Honors: 3x Pro Bowl, 4x All-pro
> Also considered: Cameron Wake

Source: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Massachusetts: Howie Long, DE
> Birthplace: Somerville
> Years active: 1981-1993
> Primary team(s): Oakland Raiders
> Honors: 8x Pro Bowl, 2x All-pro, Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Nick Buoniconti

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Source: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Michigan: Jerome Bettis, RB
> Birthplace: Detroit
> Years active: 1993-2005
> Primary team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams
> Honors: 6x Pro Bowl, 2x All-pro, Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Antonio Gates

 

Source: Dylan Buell / Getty Images

Minnesota: Terrell Suggs, LB
> Birthplace: Minneapolis
> Years active: 2003-present
> Primary team(s): Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals
> Honors: 7x Pro Bowl, All-pro, Defensive Player of the Year, 2x Super Bowl champion
> Also considered: Larry Fitzgerald

Source: Jed Jacobsohn / ALLSPORT / Getty Images

Mississippi: Jerry Rice, WR
> Birthplace: Crawford
> Years active: 1985-2004
> Primary team(s): San Francisco 49ers
> Honors: 13x Pro Bowl, 10x All-pro, 3x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Brett Favre

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Source: Thos Robinson / Getty Images for Autism Speaks

Missouri: Kellen Winslow, TE
> Birthplace: St. Louis
> Years active: 1979-1987
> Primary team(s): San Diego Chargers
> Honors: 5x Pro Bowl, 3x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Roger Wehrli

Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Montana: Jerry Kramer, G
> Birthplace: Jordan
> Years active: 1958-1968
> Primary team(s): Green Bay Packers
> Honors: 3x Pro Bowl, 5x All-pro, 5x NFL champion, 2x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Pat Donovan

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Source: Joe Robbins / Getty Images

Nebraska: Mick Tingelhoff, C
> Birthplace: Lexington
> Years active: 1962-1978
> Primary team(s): Minnesota Vikings
> Honors: 6x Pro Bowl, 5x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Ahman Green

Source: Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

Nevada: DeMarco Murray, RB
> Birthplace: Las Vegas
> Years active: 2011-2017
> Primary team(s): Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans
> Honors: 3x Pro Bowl, All-pro, Offensive Player of the Year
> Also considered: Max McGee

Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

New Hampshire: Greg Landry, QB
> Birthplace: Nashua
> Years active: 1968-1984
> Primary team(s): Detroit Lions
> Honors: Pro Bowl
> Also considered: Don Macek

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Source: Rick Stewart / Getty Images

New Jersey: Franco Harris, RB
> Birthplace: Fort Dix
> Years active: 1972-1984
> Primary team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers
> Honors: 9x Pro Bowl, All-pro, 4x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Jim Ringo

Source: Otto Greule Jr / Allsport / Getty Images

New Mexico: Ronnie Lott, CB/S
> Birthplace: Albuquerque
> Years active: 1981-1994
> Primary team(s): San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders
> Honors: 10x Pro Bowl, 6x All-pro, 4x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Tommy McDonald

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Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

New York: Rob Gronkowski, TE
> Birthplace: Amherst
> Years active: 2010-present
> Primary team(s): New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
> Honors: 5x Pro Bowl, 4x All-pro, 3x Super Bowl champion
> Also considered: Art Monk

Source: Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images

North Carolina: Bruce Matthews, C/G
> Birthplace: Raleigh
> Years active: 1983-2001
> Primary team(s): Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans
> Honors: 14x Pro Bowl, 7x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Julius Peppers

Source: sdstate.edu

North Dakota: Pete Retzlaff, TE
> Birthplace: Ellendale
> Years active: 1956-1966
> Primary team(s): Philadelphia Eagles
> Honors: 5x Pro Bowl, All-pro, NFL champion
> Also considered: Gary Larsen

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Jack Lambert, LB
> Birthplace: Mantua
> Years active: 1974-1984
> Primary team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers
> Honors: 9x Pro Bowl, 6x All-pro, Defensive Player of the Year, 4x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Charles Woodson

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Oklahoma: Steve Largent, WR
> Birthplace: Tulsa
> Years active: 1976-1989
> Primary team(s): Seattle Seahawks
> Honors: 7x Pro Bowl, All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Dan Hampton

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Source: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

Oregon: Ndamukong Suh, DT
> Birthplace: Portland
> Years active: 2010-present
> Primary team(s): Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
> Honors: 5x Pro Bowl, 3x All-pro
> Also considered: Dave Wilcox

Source: Rick Stewart / Getty Images

Pennsylvania: Joe Montana, QB
> Birthplace: New Eagle
> Years active: 1979-1994
> Primary team(s): San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs
> Honors: 8x Pro Bowl, 3x All-pro, 2x MVP, 4x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Johnny Unitas

Source: Courtesy of Vintage Football Card Gallery

Rhode Island: Gerry Philbin, DE
> Birthplace: Pawtucket
> Years active: 1964-1973
> Primary team(s): New York Jets
> Honors: 2x Pro Bowl, 2x All-pro, Super Bowl champion
> Also considered: Bill Osmanski

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Source: Bob Levey / Getty Images

South Carolina: Art Shell, T
> Birthplace: Charleston
> Years active: 1968-1982
> Primary team(s): Oakland Raiders
> Honors: 8x Pro Bowl, 2x All-pro, 2x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Richard Seymour

Source: AP Photo / NFL Photos

South Dakota: Norm Van Brocklin, QB
> Birthplace: Eagle Butte
> Years active: 1949-1960
> Primary team(s): Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles
> Honors: 9x Pro Bowl, All-pro, MVP, 2x NFL champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Adam Vinatieri

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Source: Jonathan Daniel / Allsport / Getty Images

Tennessee: Reggie White, DE
> Birthplace: Chattanooga
> Years active: 1985-2000
> Primary team(s): Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers
> Honors: 13x Pro Bowl, 8x All-pro, 2x Defensive Player of the Year, Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Patrick Willis

Source: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

Texas: Joe Greene, DT
> Birthplace: Temple
> Years active: 1969-1981
> Primary team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers
> Honors: 10x Pro Bowl, 4x All-pro, 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 4x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Drew Brees

Source: Stephen Dunn / Allsport / Getty Images

Utah: Steve Young, QB
> Birthplace: Salt Lake City
> Years active: 1985-1999
> Primary team(s): San Francisco 49ers
> Honors: 7x Pro Bowl, 3x All-pro, 2x MVP, 3x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Merlin Olsen

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Source: Mik / Getty Images

Vermont: Steve Wisniewski, G
> Birthplace: Rutland
> Years active: 1989-2001
> Primary team(s): Oakland Raiders
> Honors: 8x Pro Bowl, 2x All-pro
> Also considered: Bob Yates

Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

Virginia: Lawrence Taylor, LB
> Birthplace: Williamsburg
> Years active: 1981-1993
> Primary team(s): New York Giants
> Honors: 10x Pro Bowl, 8x All-pro, MVP, 3x Defensive Player of the Year, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Bruce Smith

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Source: Otto Greule Jr. / Allsport / Getty Images

Washington: John Elway, QB
> Birthplace: Port Angeles
> Years active: 1983-1998
> Primary team(s): Denver Broncos
> Honors: 9x Pro Bowl, MVP, 2x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Brian Urlacher

Source: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

West Virginia: Randy Moss, WR
> Birthplace: Rand
> Years active: 1998-2012
> Primary team(s): Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots
> Honors: 6x Pro Bowl, 4x All-pro, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: Gino Marchetti

Source: uwalumni.com

Wisconsin: Mike Webster, C
> Birthplace: Tomahawk
> Years active: 1974-1990
> Primary team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers
> Honors: 9x Pro Bowl, 5x All-pro, 4x Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame
> Also considered: J.J. Watt

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Source: Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images

Wyoming: Boyd Dowler, Flanker/Split end
> Birthplace: Rock Springs
> Years active: 1959-1969, 1971
> Primary team(s): Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins
> Honors: 2x Pro Bowl, 5x NFL champion, 2x Super Bowl champion
> Also considered: Chris Cooley

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