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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 TeamsTeam 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.

Philip Rivers

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.

Aaron Donald

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

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 Seahawks

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 Cowboys

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.

Oakland Raiders

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.

Wisconsin

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.

Washington

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.

Quarterback

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.

Wide Receiver

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.

Linebacker

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.

California

Oakland Raiders

Florida

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New York

Buffalo Bills

(The New York Giants won big in New Jersey)

Ohio

Cincinnati Bengals

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Steelers

Texas

Dallas Cowboys

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.

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Favorite Players by State (Full List)

Favorite Players by State (Full List)

Swipe Left to See All →
StatePlayerPositionTeamNFL.com Rank
AlabamaAmari CooperWRRaiders53
AlaskaPhilip RiversQBChargers73
Arizona (Tie)David JohnsonRBCardinals12
Arizona (Tie)Patrick PetersonCBCardinals19
Arizona (Tie)Larry FitzgeraldWRCardinals45
Arizona (Tie)Calais CampbellDEJaguars83
Arizona (Tie)Chandler JonesLBCardinals85
ArkansasAaron DonaldDTRams15
California (Tie)Khalil MackDERaiders Raiders Broncos Chargers5
California (Tie)Derek CarrQBRaiders11
California (Tie)Chris Harris Jr.CBBroncos63
California (Tie)Philip RiversQBChargers73
Colorado (Tie)Von MillerLBBroncos2
Colorado (Tie)Aqib TalibCBBroncos37
Colorado (Tie)Philip RiversQBChargers73
ConnecticutAaron DonaldDTRams15
DelawareBrandon GrahamDEEagles93
District of Columbia (Tie)Trent WilliamsTRedskins47
District of Columbia (Tie)Josh NormanCBRedskins59
District of Columbia (Tie)Jordan ReedTERedskins65
District of Columbia (Tie)Kirk CousinsQBRedskins70
District of Columbia (Tie)Lorenzo AlexanderLBBills91
Florida (Tie)Mike EvansWRBuccaneers29
Florida (Tie)Jameis WinstonQBBuccaneers57
Georgia (Tie)Julio JonesWRFalcons3
Georgia (Tie)Matt RyanQBFalcons10
Georgia (Tie)Vic BeasleyLBFalcons40
Georgia (Tie)Devonta FreemanRBFalcons41
HawaiiMarcus MariotaQBTitans50
IdahoJay AjayiRBDolphins69
IllinoisAaron DonaldDTRams15
Indiana (Tie)Andrew LuckQBColts51
Indiana (Tie)T.Y. HiltonWRColts61
Iowa (Tie)Marshal YandaGRavens43
Iowa (Tie)Kelechi OsemeleGRaiders95
Kansas (Tie)Eric BerrySChiefs13
Kansas (Tie)Travis KelceTEChiefs26
Kansas (Tie)Marcus PetersCBChiefs32
Kansas (Tie)Tyreek HillWRChiefs36
Kansas (Tie)Justin HoustonLBChiefs76
Kansas (Tie)Alex SmithQBChiefs81
KentuckyGeno AtkinsDTBengals68
Louisiana (Tie)Drew BreesQBSaints16
Louisiana (Tie)Jarvis LandryWRDolphins42
MaineRob GronkowskiTEPatriots23
MarylandBrian OrakpoLBTitans78
Massachusetts (Tie)Tom BradyQBPatriots1
Massachusetts (Tie)Julian EdelmanWRPatriots71
Massachusetts (Tie)LeGarrette BlountRBPatriots80
Massachusetts (Tie)Malcom ButlerCBPatriots99
MichiganMatthew StaffordQBLions31
Minnesota (Tie)Xavier RhodesCBVikings66
Minnesota (Tie)Harrison SmithSVikings74
Minnesota (Tie)Everson GriffenDEVikings92
Minnesota (Tie)Adrian PetersonRBSaints98
Mississippi (Tie)Odell Beckham Jr.WRGiants8
Mississippi (Tie)Dak PrescottQBCowboys14
Mississippi (Tie)Fletcher CoxDTEagles38
MissouriTyreek HillWRChiefs36
MontanaKhalil MackDERaiders5
NebraskaNdamukong SuhDTDolphins55
NevadaKhalil MackDERaiders5
New HampshireMalcom ButlerCBPatriots99
New Jersey (Tie)Landon CollinsSGiants28
New Jersey (Tie)Janoris JenkinsCBGiants54
New Jersey (Tie)Damon HarrisonDTGiants96
New MexicoSean LeeLBCowboys79
New YorkLeSean McCoyRBBills27
North Carolina (Tie)Luke KuechlyLBPanthers20
North Carolina (Tie)Cam NewtonQBPanthers44
North Carolina (Tie)Cameron WakeDEDolphins62
North Carolina (Tie)Greg OlsenTEPanthers67
North Carolina (Tie)Thomas DavisLBPanthers89
North DakotaAaron DonaldDTRams15
Ohio (Tie)AJ GreenWRBengals17
Ohio (Tie)Joe ThomasTBrowns25
Ohio (Tie)Geno AtkinsDTBengals68
Ohio (Tie)Joey BosaDEChargers100
Oklahoma (Tie)DeMarco MurrayRBTitans33
Oklahoma (Tie)Gerald McCoyDTBuccaneers52
OregonAaron DonaldDTRams15
Pennsylvania (Tie)Antonio BrownWRSteelers4
Pennsylvania (Tie)Le'Veon BellRBSteelers9
Pennsylvania (Tie)Ben RoethlisbergerQBSteelers22
Pennsylvania (Tie)LeSean McCoyRBBills27
Pennsylvania (Tie)Malcolm JenkinsSEagles90
Pennsylvania (Tie)David DeCastroGSteelers97
Rhode Island (Tie)Rob GronkowskiTEPatriots23
Rhode Island (Tie)Dont'a HightowerLBPatriots94
South CarolinaJadeveon ClowneyDETexans49
South Dakota (Tie)Khalil MackDERaiders5
South Dakota (Tie)Harrison SmithSVikings74
Tennessee (Tie)Taylor LewanTTitans72
Tennessee (Tie)Delanie WalkerTETitans75
Tennessee (Tie)Brian OrakpoLBTitans78
Tennessee (Tie)Jurrell CaseyDTTitans86
Texas (Tie)Ezekiel ElliottRBCowboys7
Texas (Tie)Tyron SmithTCowboys18
Texas (Tie)Zack MartinGCowboys58
Texas (Tie)Dez BryantWRCowboys60
Texas (Tie)Sean LeeLBCowboys79
UtahGreg OlsenTEPanthers67
VermontMike EvansWRBuccaneers29
Virginia (Tie)Josh NormanCBRedskins59
Virginia (Tie)Kirk CousinsQBRedskins70
Washington (Tie)Richard ShermanCBSeahawks21
Washington (Tie)Russel WilsonQBSeahawks24
Washington (Tie)Earl ThomasSSeahawks30
Washington (Tie)Kam ChancellorSSeahawks34
Washington (Tie)Bobby WagnerLBSeahawks39
Washington (Tie)Michael BennettDESeahawks46
Washington (Tie)Cliff AvrilDESeahawks56
Washington (Tie)Doug BaldwinWRSeahawks88
West VirginiaThomas DavisLBPanthers89
Wisconsin (Tie)Aaron RodgersQBPackers6
Wisconsin (Tie)Aaron DonaldDTRams15
Wisconsin (Tie)Joe ThomasTBrowns25
Wisconsin (Tie)J. J. WattDETexans35
Wisconsin (Tie)Jordy NelsonWRPackers48
Wisconsin (Tie)Casey HaywardCBChargers64
Wisconsin (Tie)Ha Ha Clinton-DixSPackers77
Wisconsin (Tie)Clay MatthewsLBPackers82
Wisconsin (Tie)Mike DanielsDTPackers84
Wisconsin (Tie)Travis FrederickCCowboys87
WyomingKhalil MackDERaiders5

All data as of 08/04/2017

About the Author

John Dilley is an endless source of new ideas. With a background in both sports and music, he offers a unique perspective. He has written for The Daily Utah Chronicle, Filler, and has contributed content to several commercial websites.

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