Who’s Your State’s Favorite NFL Player?
As the NFL season approaches and you prepare for your fantasy draft, the teams at CableTV.com and Go.Frontier.com joined up to find the NFL players garnering interest from each state. We took the list of the top 100 players and looked at which of those players were googled the most in each state. Along with the predictable results of hometown heroes and star quarterbacks, we found a few surprises.
Jump to: Most Popular Offensive Player |Most Popular Defensive Player | Most Popular Teams | Team with Most Out-of-Market Interest | State Most Interested in NFL Players |Most Popular Position | Favorite Team in States with Multiple Teams |
Ties and Tiebreakers
Twenty-five states plus Washington, DC had ties for their most searched player. To keep the map from getting too cluttered, in states that had ties, we included only the player who ranked highest on the original NFL.com list. Interestingly, when you look at all the states’ most popular players and include those that tied for the most popular, all 100 players from the original NFL.com list show up at least once. You can see the full list of players and the states where they garnered the most interest below.
Maybe the most surprising result of our analysis is that among offensive players, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers led the search results in the most states.
Rivers either was or was tied as the most searched player in three states. Colorado, the home of the Denver Broncos—a longtime division rival for the Chargers—was among them. He also topped the search results in Alaska and California.
Remarkably, Rivers was the most searched player in more states than quarterbacks with more impressive resumes, including Super Bowl champions Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers.
Move over, Tom Brady. Not only will Aaron Donald be looking to sack you, but he also may be knocking you off your throne atop the league. Along with being the most searched defensive player, Donald was also the most searched player overall.
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald either was or was tied for the most searched player in six states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Much of this interest likely stems from when Donald, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, refused to report to Los Angeles Rams training camp because of a contract dispute.
Curiously, Donald was not the most searched player in Pennsylvania, where he was born and played college ball at the University of Pittsburgh. Nor did he top the search rankings in California, the home of his current team. However, Donald did top the list of most-googled players in Illinois and tied atop the list in Wisconsin, two states that both have NFL teams of their own.
Khalil Mack, the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year and a defensive end for the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders, either was or was tied for the most searched player in five states: California, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Mack anchors the Raiders defense and helped lead the team to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2002. The high interest in both Mack and Donald could be strong all season as they battle each other and a few others for Defensive Player of the Year.
Seattle fans love the Seahawks’ vaunted defense, and our analysis proves the 12th MAN supports its team both on the field and online.
The state of Washington saw an eight-way tie for its most searched player. Fittingly, all eight of these players play for the Seattle Seahawks. Among those players, NFL.com ranked cornerback Richard Sherman the highest, at number twenty-one. Two more members of the Legion of Boom, safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, were also in the tie, as were three more defensive players, linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.
Rounding out the eight-way tie for Washington’s favorite player were Seattle’s two offensive stars: quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
Dallas comes in right behind Seattle with seven different Cowboys among the most googled players: running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott, tackle Tyron Smith, guard Zack Martin, wide receiver Dez Bryant, linebacker Sean Lee, and center Travis Frederick.
Are the Oakland Raiders threatening the Dallas Cowboys for the title of “America’s team”?
Excluding the team’s home state of California, these players from the Oakland Raiders were among the most searched in six states throughout the country: defensive end Khalil Mack, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and guard Kelechi Osemele.
The Los Angeles Rams also had a most searched player in six out-of-market states, but it was the same player, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, in all six.
From “The Frozen Tundra” of Lambeau Field to the name on the Lombardi Trophy, the Green Bay Packers are almost synonymous with NFL history, so we’re not surprised fans in Wisconsin have a love affair with their players and other players throughout the league. Players who score touchdowns in Green Bay literally jump into the fans’ embrace via the legendary Lambeau Leap, and the fans welcome them with open arms. That undying love extends beyond the field and to the web.
Wisconsin had a ten-way tie for its most searched player, but only half of the players play for the state’s Green Bay Packers. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ranked highest of the group, coming in at number six on NFL.com’s list of top 100 players.
Joining Rodgers in the ten-way tie for Wisconsin’s favorite player are Packer teammates wide receiver Jordy Nelson, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, linebacker Clay Matthews, and defensive tackle Mike Daniels. The others in the tie included Casey Hayward, a former Packer cornerback and current San Diego Charger, along with a trio of former Wisconsin Badgers: Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, and Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick. The final player in the ten-way tie, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, has no obvious ties to Wisconsin.
As mentioned above, eight players—all Seattle Seahawks—tied for the most searched in Washington. This gives Seattle more players on the list than any other team.
The popularity of quarterbacks is not a surprise. Simply playing the position requires a degree of leadership and strategy that often makes the quarterback the face of the franchise.
Sixteen different quarterbacks were among the most searched players in a state: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers, and Alex Smith.
Not far behind are the guys on the other end of the quarterback’s big plays: the wide receivers.
Fourteen wide receivers were among the most searched players: Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, Jarvis Landry, Larry Fitzgerald, Jordy Nelson, Amari Cooper, Dez Bryant, T.Y. Hilton, Julian Edelman, and Doug Baldwin.
What about defense?
Despite the two most popular positions being on the offensive side of the ball, the distribution of players was fairly even between offense and defense, with fifty-three offensive players and forty-seven defensive players. Defensive players also dominated in the total number of states in which they were the favorites. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the most googled player in six states, and defensive end Khalil Mack led five states. Only one offensive player was the most searched in more than two states: it was quarterback Philip Rivers with three states.
The top defensive position was linebacker, with twelve players among the most searched: Von Miller, Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner, Vic Beasley, Justin Houston, Brian Orakpo, Sean Lee, Clay Matthews, Chandler Jones, Thomas Davis, Lorenzo Alexander, and Dont’a Hightower.
Six states are home to multiple NFL teams. By looking at which teams had the highest number of most googled players in their home states, our analysis shows which teams get to claim bragging rights. The biggest surprise here was Tampa Bay beating out Miami in Florida.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(The New York Giants won big in New Jersey)
Tell us who your favorite NFL player is in the comments below and share this with your friends to find out who they cheer for. Then make sure you’re set to watch those players every week. The NFL regular season starts Thursday, September 7. Make sure you have a cable package with NFL Network to keep up on all the latest news on your favorite players.
Favorite Players by State (Full List)
Favorite Players by State (Full List)
|Arizona (Tie)||David Johnson||RB||Cardinals||12|
|Arizona (Tie)||Patrick Peterson||CB||Cardinals||19|
|Arizona (Tie)||Larry Fitzgerald||WR||Cardinals||45|
|Arizona (Tie)||Calais Campbell||DE||Jaguars||83|
|Arizona (Tie)||Chandler Jones||LB||Cardinals||85|
|California (Tie)||Khalil Mack||DE||Raiders Raiders Broncos Chargers||5|
|California (Tie)||Derek Carr||QB||Raiders||11|
|California (Tie)||Chris Harris Jr.||CB||Broncos||63|
|California (Tie)||Philip Rivers||QB||Chargers||73|
|Colorado (Tie)||Von Miller||LB||Broncos||2|
|Colorado (Tie)||Aqib Talib||CB||Broncos||37|
|Colorado (Tie)||Philip Rivers||QB||Chargers||73|
|District of Columbia (Tie)||Trent Williams||T||Redskins||47|
|District of Columbia (Tie)||Josh Norman||CB||Redskins||59|
|District of Columbia (Tie)||Jordan Reed||TE||Redskins||65|
|District of Columbia (Tie)||Kirk Cousins||QB||Redskins||70|
|District of Columbia (Tie)||Lorenzo Alexander||LB||Bills||91|
|Florida (Tie)||Mike Evans||WR||Buccaneers||29|
|Florida (Tie)||Jameis Winston||QB||Buccaneers||57|
|Georgia (Tie)||Julio Jones||WR||Falcons||3|
|Georgia (Tie)||Matt Ryan||QB||Falcons||10|
|Georgia (Tie)||Vic Beasley||LB||Falcons||40|
|Georgia (Tie)||Devonta Freeman||RB||Falcons||41|
|Indiana (Tie)||Andrew Luck||QB||Colts||51|
|Indiana (Tie)||T.Y. Hilton||WR||Colts||61|
|Iowa (Tie)||Marshal Yanda||G||Ravens||43|
|Iowa (Tie)||Kelechi Osemele||G||Raiders||95|
|Kansas (Tie)||Eric Berry||S||Chiefs||13|
|Kansas (Tie)||Travis Kelce||TE||Chiefs||26|
|Kansas (Tie)||Marcus Peters||CB||Chiefs||32|
|Kansas (Tie)||Tyreek Hill||WR||Chiefs||36|
|Kansas (Tie)||Justin Houston||LB||Chiefs||76|
|Kansas (Tie)||Alex Smith||QB||Chiefs||81|
|Louisiana (Tie)||Drew Brees||QB||Saints||16|
|Louisiana (Tie)||Jarvis Landry||WR||Dolphins||42|
|Massachusetts (Tie)||Tom Brady||QB||Patriots||1|
|Massachusetts (Tie)||Julian Edelman||WR||Patriots||71|
|Massachusetts (Tie)||LeGarrette Blount||RB||Patriots||80|
|Massachusetts (Tie)||Malcom Butler||CB||Patriots||99|
|Minnesota (Tie)||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Vikings||66|
|Minnesota (Tie)||Harrison Smith||S||Vikings||74|
|Minnesota (Tie)||Everson Griffen||DE||Vikings||92|
|Minnesota (Tie)||Adrian Peterson||RB||Saints||98|
|Mississippi (Tie)||Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||Giants||8|
|Mississippi (Tie)||Dak Prescott||QB||Cowboys||14|
|Mississippi (Tie)||Fletcher Cox||DT||Eagles||38|
|New Hampshire||Malcom Butler||CB||Patriots||99|
|New Jersey (Tie)||Landon Collins||S||Giants||28|
|New Jersey (Tie)||Janoris Jenkins||CB||Giants||54|
|New Jersey (Tie)||Damon Harrison||DT||Giants||96|
|New Mexico||Sean Lee||LB||Cowboys||79|
|New York||LeSean McCoy||RB||Bills||27|
|North Carolina (Tie)||Luke Kuechly||LB||Panthers||20|
|North Carolina (Tie)||Cam Newton||QB||Panthers||44|
|North Carolina (Tie)||Cameron Wake||DE||Dolphins||62|
|North Carolina (Tie)||Greg Olsen||TE||Panthers||67|
|North Carolina (Tie)||Thomas Davis||LB||Panthers||89|
|North Dakota||Aaron Donald||DT||Rams||15|
|Ohio (Tie)||AJ Green||WR||Bengals||17|
|Ohio (Tie)||Joe Thomas||T||Browns||25|
|Ohio (Tie)||Geno Atkins||DT||Bengals||68|
|Ohio (Tie)||Joey Bosa||DE||Chargers||100|
|Oklahoma (Tie)||DeMarco Murray||RB||Titans||33|
|Oklahoma (Tie)||Gerald McCoy||DT||Buccaneers||52|
|Pennsylvania (Tie)||Antonio Brown||WR||Steelers||4|
|Pennsylvania (Tie)||Le'Veon Bell||RB||Steelers||9|
|Pennsylvania (Tie)||Ben Roethlisberger||QB||Steelers||22|
|Pennsylvania (Tie)||LeSean McCoy||RB||Bills||27|
|Pennsylvania (Tie)||Malcolm Jenkins||S||Eagles||90|
|Pennsylvania (Tie)||David DeCastro||G||Steelers||97|
|Rhode Island (Tie)||Rob Gronkowski||TE||Patriots||23|
|Rhode Island (Tie)||Dont'a Hightower||LB||Patriots||94|
|South Carolina||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||Texans||49|
|South Dakota (Tie)||Khalil Mack||DE||Raiders||5|
|South Dakota (Tie)||Harrison Smith||S||Vikings||74|
|Tennessee (Tie)||Taylor Lewan||T||Titans||72|
|Tennessee (Tie)||Delanie Walker||TE||Titans||75|
|Tennessee (Tie)||Brian Orakpo||LB||Titans||78|
|Tennessee (Tie)||Jurrell Casey||DT||Titans||86|
|Texas (Tie)||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Cowboys||7|
|Texas (Tie)||Tyron Smith||T||Cowboys||18|
|Texas (Tie)||Zack Martin||G||Cowboys||58|
|Texas (Tie)||Dez Bryant||WR||Cowboys||60|
|Texas (Tie)||Sean Lee||LB||Cowboys||79|
|Virginia (Tie)||Josh Norman||CB||Redskins||59|
|Virginia (Tie)||Kirk Cousins||QB||Redskins||70|
|Washington (Tie)||Richard Sherman||CB||Seahawks||21|
|Washington (Tie)||Russel Wilson||QB||Seahawks||24|
|Washington (Tie)||Earl Thomas||S||Seahawks||30|
|Washington (Tie)||Kam Chancellor||S||Seahawks||34|
|Washington (Tie)||Bobby Wagner||LB||Seahawks||39|
|Washington (Tie)||Michael Bennett||DE||Seahawks||46|
|Washington (Tie)||Cliff Avril||DE||Seahawks||56|
|Washington (Tie)||Doug Baldwin||WR||Seahawks||88|
|West Virginia||Thomas Davis||LB||Panthers||89|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Aaron Rodgers||QB||Packers||6|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Aaron Donald||DT||Rams||15|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Joe Thomas||T||Browns||25|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||J. J. Watt||DE||Texans||35|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Jordy Nelson||WR||Packers||48|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Casey Hayward||CB||Chargers||64|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||S||Packers||77|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Clay Matthews||LB||Packers||82|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Mike Daniels||DT||Packers||84|
|Wisconsin (Tie)||Travis Frederick||C||Cowboys||87|
All data as of 08/04/2017