Who are the best NFL players from Ohio right now?
Ohio is a football state. It prides itself on its college and high school football and would rather pretend its professional football teams don’t exist (though they’re both oddly competent at the moment, we all know that can’t last long).
Let’s take a look at some of the best players the state of Ohio has produced for the NFL.
Top 5 NFL Players From Ohio
5: Kareem Hunt (RB, Cleveland Browns – Lorain, OH)
Hunt burst onto the NFL scene in 2017 for the Kansas City Chiefs, rushing for 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns during his rookie campaign, which he capped off with a Pro Bowl appearance. He had a strong 2018 season brewing before an off-the-field incident led to his dismissal from the team. In 2019, Hunt was signed by the Browns, where he has been a productive back, relieving the oft-injured Nick Chubb.
The Northwest Ohio native attended Toledo University, where he put up staggering numbers over four years.
4: Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Pittsburgh Steelers – Lima, OH)
Ben Roethlisberger represents the older generation of Ohio pros, and while his recent performances may not be earth shattering, a list of Ohio born players is incomplete without the two-time Super Bowl champion. Perhaps the greatest Miami RedHawk of all time, Big Ben lead Miami (OH) to a 13-1 season his senior year, which he capped off with a No. 10 national ranking, 4,400 passing yards, and 37 touchdowns. His No. 7 was later retired in 2007, just four years after he left the school.
The No. 11 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Roethlisberger has been the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback for 17 seasons. He has six Pro Bowls to go along with his more than 400 touchdown passes and 64,000 yards.
3: Denzel Ward (CB, Cleveland Browns – Cleveland, OH)
Hailing from Northeast Ohio, Denzel Ward attended Nordonia High School, where he was a star wide receiver and cornerback. Outside of football, he also played basketball and ran track. After a solid high school career, he went on to play for Ohio State during several of its most prolific seasons (2015-2017), becoming a starter his junior year. In Columbus, he received First Team All-Big Ten honors, All-American honors, and declared early as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks.
Ward was selected No. 4 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. His impact on the Browns was quickly felt as he became a Pro Bowl selection in his rookie campaign. So far, Ward has averaged nearly 50 tackles and 2.5 interceptions per season.
2: Jason Kelce (C, Philadelphia Eagles – Cleveland Heights, OH)
The younger brother of All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, Jason Kelce may be the most underappreciated person on this list. Like Travis, Jason also played his college football at Cincinnati, where he started his career as a walk-on running back. Once he found his natural position on the offensive line, he developed from walk-on to an honorable mention All-American his senior season.
Drafted in the sixth round by the Eagles, Jason is a four-time All-Pro with five Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl ring.
1: Travis Kelce (TE, Kansas City Chiefs – Cleveland Heights, OH)
Travis Kelce started at Cleveland Heights High School, where he starred in football, basketball, and baseball. Like so many offensive threats, Kelce was a successful high school quarterback before becoming a QB/TE at the University of Cincinnati.
As a pro, Kelce has starred in eight seasons as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs with numerous accolades. He’s been named an All-Pro player a staggering five times with seven Pro Bowl appearances. He’s on pace to reach 10,000 receiving yards by the end of next season.
The future Hall of Famer may go down as one of the best third-round picks of all time.