The Best Current NFL Players Born in New York

Here are the greatest New York-born players in the NFL today.

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Almost all of the 50 states has produced an NFL star or two. While not necessarily an “NFL factory,” New York has certainly sent plenty of top-tier talent to the league. Some of the sport’s top talents have called the Empire State home during their early years. That’s why we’re here today — to highlight some of the top players currently in the league who were born in New York. While not loaded with star power, this list absolutely boasts some big-time playmakers.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the top 20 current NFL players who can consider NY their old stomping grounds.

20. WR Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers
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Born in Brooklyn

Through the early part of his rookie season, Curtis Samuel has been a non-factor for the Carolina Panthers offense. While that may be the case, the electric offensive weapon should see his stock rise sooner rather than later. He’s a threat to score whenever the ball is in his hands, providing value as a running back, receiver and returner. The New York native should get his shot with the Panthers eventually, at which point he’ll light it up.

19. DE Terrence Fede, Miami Dolphins
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Born in Nyack

Early during his NFL career, Terrence Fede had the makings of a seventh-round steal for the Miami Dolphins. During his rookie campaign, he shined during the preseason and even secured a sack during the regular season. As a sophomore, the future again looked bright despite no sacks. Then 2016 rolled along, and a knee injury ended his season before it began. Now he’s buried on the Dolphins’ defensive end depth chart, but the potential is there for him to make an impact if injuries pile up.

18. DE Steven Means, Philadelphia Eagles
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Born in Buffalo

Steven Means may be buried on the Philadelphia Eagles‘ defensive end depth chart, but that doesn’t discount the fact that he’s a capable edge rusher when given the opportunity. After bouncing around the league for his first couple of seasons, the Buffalo native racked up five sacks in a rotational role in 2016. Now under a shiny new contract, Means should see his stock continue to rise despite playing behind proven playmakers Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry.

17. DT DaQuan Jones, Tennessee Titans
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Born in Johnson City

As a former fourth-round pick, DaQuan Jones hasn’t had too much trouble living up to the hype that surrounded him coming out of Penn State. Sure, he’s been a bit of a one-trick pony as a designated run stuffer. While that may be the case, he’s excelled in that role, serving as the Tennessee Titans‘ starter across from Jurrell Casey. Jones isn’t going to be making any Pro Bowls or All-Pro teams, but his presence on the Tennessee defensive line is routinely felt.

16. P Riley Dixon, Denver Broncos
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Born in Oneida

I know — he’s a punter. Not exactly a glorious or exciting position in the NFL (unless you’re Johnny Hekker). Still, Riley Dixon is a pretty good punter for the Denver Broncos. Now heading into his second season as a former sixth-round pick, the Syracuse product has quietly looked like a picked well spent. He finished his rookie 2016 campaign finished ninth in net yards per punt and tenth in punts inside the 20.

15. DT Shamar Stephen, Minnesota Vikings
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Born in Brookville

A 2014 seventh-round pick out of Connecticut, Shamar Stephen has quietly carved out a role for himself as a rotational defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings. While not a star by any stretch of the imagination, he’s proven to be a capable run stuffer who provides quality depth for Minnesota’s elite front four. The fact that he’s stuck around this long is a statement to Stephen’s perseverance and determination to make a name for himself in the NFL.

14. DT Jay Bromley, New York Giants
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Born in Jamaica

Prior to this season, Jay Bromley‘s stock was certainly on the rise. While serving in a rotational role along the New York Giants‘ defensive line, he made the occasional play as an interior pass rusher. Unfortunately, the arrival and emergence of rookie Dalvin Tomlinson has done a number on his role. Still, the potential is there for him to make an impact if an injury occurs or another team decides to make a move for the talented defensive tackle out of Syracuse.

13. OT Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Born in Hempstead

Honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of Donovan Smith coming out of college. He didn’t appear athletic enough to handle playing left tackle at the NFL level. I’ll admit, though, that he proved me wrong during his rookie 2016 season, earning the starting job for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s been a bumpy road for the Penn State alum so far, but all of the signs point to him being a prominent part of the Buccaneers’ front five for years to come.

12. LB Vincent Rey, Cincinnati Bengals
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Born in Far Rockaway

Vincent Rey is your classic overachiever. While not an overwhelming physical specimen and not the most effective of players for the Cincinnati Bengals defense, his production is undeniable. In two of the last three seasons, Rey has led the team in tackles while also pitching in a couple of interceptions and defended passes. There’s never going to be anything special about the veteran linebacker, but his work ethic and tenacity on the field certainly make New York proud.

11. CB Jason McCourty, Cleveland Browns
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Born in Nyack

For so many years, Jason McCourty was the reliable veteran presence in the Titans’ secondary. Unfortunately, his time with the team was cut short this past offseason, allowing him to land on his feet with the Cleveland Browns. Although he’s starting to wear down with age, McCourty is still a capable playmaker in coverage who should continue to shine as part of the Cleveland secondary. Retirement may not be too far down the road, though.

10. C Ali Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Born in Hastings-on-Hudson

There was an abundance of hype surrounding the small-school product heading into the 2016 NFL Draft. When the Buccaneers selected him in the third-round, the hype continued to build. Luckily for the big blocker from New York, his rookie-season play matched the buzz. Ali Marpet is just scratching the surface of his potential, so expect big things in the near future from the Hobart College product.

9. P Brett Kern, Tennessee Titans
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Born in Grand Island

Woohoo! Another punter. Unfortunately, there’s only so much talent currently in the NFL that hailed from New York. In the case of Brett Kern, though, he’s well worth this spot on the list. For more than a decade, the exceptional punter has been making an impact. He’s spent all but one season with the Titans, and continues to be a reliable leg for them. Even at 31 years old, expect Kern to keep his momentum rolling for at least a couple more seasons.

8. RB Dion Lewis, New England Patriots
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Born in Albany

Dion Lewis‘ NFL career has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least. Originally taken in the fifth round, the Albany running back struggled to earn snaps during his two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. The next two years were spent bouncing around the league and battling injuries. Then, Lewis landed with the New England Patriots in 2015 and began showing off his versatile, electric style of play. Chances are he changes teams again in the near future, but still has the physical tools to be a playmaker.

7. SS Tyvon Branch, Arizona Cardinals
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Born in Syracuse

During his early years with the Oakland Raiders, Tyvon Branch was one of the top up-and-coming safeties in the NFL. For three seasons in a row, he racked up over 100 tackles while playing an integral role in the Oakland secondary. Then, fell victim to a string of injuries that have put his pro career on crutches. He put together a strong season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015, but is still battling the injury bug now as part of the Arizona Cardinals. Still, when healthy, he’s one of the better playmaking safeties in the game.

6. C J.C. Tretter, Cleveland Browns
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Born in Batavia

It took an injury for J.C. Tretter to finally get his shot, but he didn’t disappoint. While serving as the Green Bay Packers‘ starting center, the former fourth-round pick didn’t wait long to convince the rest of the league that he belonged atop the depth chart. That’s why he didn’t pass on the opportunity to sign with the Browns this past offseason, cementing his status as a starter. At his current trajectory, Tretter could be one of the NFL’s best centers in a couple of years.

5. CB Corey Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
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Born in Buffalo

A Buffalo native, Corey Graham actually spent the first 10 years of his NFL career playing with the Buffalo Bills. It was an exciting opportunity for a local product to put his talent on display in front of his true home crowd. However, he’s now with the Philadelphia Eagles as the Bills aimed to get younger on defense. Despite his 32 years of age, Graham figures to be an effective cover man for at least a few more seasons before calling it a career.

4. C John Sullivan, Los Angeles Rams
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Born in Mt. Kisco

Not long ago, John Sullivan was seen as one of the best centers in the NFL. Although the Vikings eventually let him go as injuries and age began to limit his effectiveness, Sullivan quickly caught on with the Washington Redskins in 2016 and played well. He’s now snapping to Jared Goff as the Los Angeles Rams‘ starting center, although it’s become clear that his pro football career is nearing its end. Despite that, his status as one of the best centers of the last decade is worth recognizing.

3. WR Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers
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Born in Carmel

Another underdog story gone right, Pierre Garcon started his career as a sixth-round selection buried on the Indianapolis Colts‘ wide receiver depth chart. It wasn’t until his second season in the league that he truly emerged as a threat in the passing game. He’s since enjoyed massive success with the Redskins and is currently serving as the San Francisco 49ers‘ leading receiver.

2. FS Devin McCourty, New England Patriots
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Born in Nyack

It’s surprising that Devin McCourty isn’t a more well-known commodity among general NFL fans. Maybe it’s the position he plays. Whatever the case may be, the Patriots’ elite safety deserves all of the respect he receives and then some. Through seven seasons, McCourty has asserted himself as one of the league’s best cover safeties while also shining as a run defender. If there’s one player who has done a great job of acting as the glue for the New England defense, it’s McCourty.

1. TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
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Born in Amherst

This selection was an easy one. Of all of the current NFL players who were born in New York, none are as unstoppable as Rob Gronkowski. While he may be injured more often than the Patriots would like, he’s quickly proven himself to be among the best tight ends to ever play the game. On top of that, he’s an awesome character who isn’t afraid to let his personality out for the world to see. Gronkowski is without a doubt the class of the New York natives in today’s NFL.