America’s professional football players are supreme athletes. They possess strength, speed, tactical awareness, and an abundance of natural talent. Many also have good looks. In fact, current and former NFL players have been heralded as some of the most handsome men around. Many have even gone on to careers in modeling and film.
What makes NFL players so gosh darn good looking? Attribute it to perfectly lined up DNA, flowing testosterone, and bodies sculpted by the most rigorous athletic conditioning. Whatever the reason, when it comes to football, there is truly something for everyone to watch, whether you’re focused on the field – or on the “tight end.”
Which NFL players are among the most handsome, and which teams and positions are best looking overall? To find out, we showed headshots of NFL players to a group of impartial assessors who ranked each player on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most attractive and one being the least attractive. We then averaged the scores. Here’s what we discovered.
When it comes to the most attractive player, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco tops our list. Flacco (who has also been called Joe “Cool”) is an outstanding player – the only player in NFL history to win a playoff game during every one of his first five seasons. Flacco has been playing for the Ravens since 2008 and helped his team defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Reply with your favorite Flacco memory for a chance to win this picture! pic.twitter.com/DcUOlRvbfD
— Joe Flacco (@JoeFlacco) August 8, 2015
Flacco’s athleticism and good looks have scored him multimillion-dollar contracts. He’s appeared in Pizza Hut and McDonald’s commercials, among others. Although with his powerful body, it’s hard to believe he spends much time eating pizza and wings – and definitely not on game day.
Artie Burns, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, also ranked as one of the most attractive NFL players. At age 21, he’s also among the youngest. The rookie cornerback was among the highest graded rookies for 2016 among all first-round picks. With his natural ability and stellar good looks, the future certainly looks bright for this young man.
Also on our list of best-looking NFL players is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. At 39 years old, he is perhaps the most widely recognized current NFL player. Brady has won three Super Bowl MVP awards – among numerous other accolades – and is considered to be among the greatest quarterbacks in league history.
Over the years, Brady has appeared in numerous TV commercials and print ads. He’s also appeared as himself in the films “Ted 2,” “Entourage,” and “Stuck on You” (where he played the role of a computer geek). His TV series credits include “Entourage” and “Family Guy.” He’s currently executive producer of the TV series “Religion of Sports.”
Teeming With Good Looks
Tennessee may be known for its country music scene and Western flair, but according to our attractiveness assessment, it should also be recognized for having the best-looking professional football team – with an average attractiveness rating of 5.05.
However, only Tennessee Titans tight end Phillip Supernaw (with an attractiveness rating of 7.3) was on our list of most attractive players.
The New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys also have something to smile about in addition to making the playoffs this season as No.1 seeds overall. These well-performing teams are in a tight race for best-looking, with attractiveness ratings of 4.9 and 4.8 respectively. Patriots players Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are wide receivers of praise for their smart looks. (They also both play that position for their team.)
Shout-outs also go to the San Francisco 49ers (ranked No. 2), the Washington Redskins (No. 3), the Denver Broncos (No. 4), the Buffalo Bills (No. 7), the Seattle Seahawks (No. 8), the San Diego Chargers (No. 9), and the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 10).
AFC vs. NFC: Battle of Beaus
Le’Veon Bell may be making waves in the NFL with his uniquely patient running style, but he’s also easy on the eyes, coming in as the second most attractive Steelers player.
Miami has a lot to offer as a city, including South Beach, music, and its professional sports teams. The Dolphins also offer Cameron Wake. In addition to applying pressure on the quarterback, Wake leads his team in attractiveness.
The Jets may have had a disappointing season, but their recent influx of talent might make them easier to watch. Their first-round selection Darron Lee comes in as the second most attractive player on their roster.
When it comes to the NFC, there is clearly a lot to love, especially for fans who are interested in more than what the players contribute to the team’s football success. Jason Witten is the most attractive player on “America’s Team”: the Dallas Cowboys. Even though they lost a heartbreaker to the Green Bay Packers, fans can still take comfort knowing they have one of the best-looking teams in the NFL.
In the City of Brotherly Love, Chase Daniel – the backup quarterback for the Eagles – rings in at the top spot. The team’s division rivals, the New York Giants, also boast some attractive players of their own. Second-year stud Landon Collins cracks the top five, while Rashad Jennings and his physical running style, in addition to his striking good looks, is ranked third on the Giants’ list.
There’s speculation about why athletes who kick around a ball are so attractive. Regarding American football, quarterbacks are legendary for their handsomeness. Since the 1950s, TV and film have often portrayed the theme of a beautiful homecoming queen dating – and then sometimes even marrying – the high school quarterback. But does this match reality?
Our attractiveness assessors aren’t experts in football – and they weren’t told each player’s position. So what did they discover?
It turns out, quarterbacks are the best-looking players on the field. Some researchers even suggest this is because Americans want good looking quarterbacks, leading coaches of sandlot football to pick the best-looking kid for this position. Others speculate the best-looking kids – who may also be the most confident – try out for the position most often.
Next in line are the tight ends – perhaps giving new meaning to the position – followed by safeties, linebackers, running backs, and wide receivers.
From Field to Film – and Beyond
The average career length for an NFL player is under three years, according to recent statistics. What’s next for some – especially the ultra-successful and attractive – are careers in TV and film.
Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long played in the NFL for a full 13 seasons. Along the way, he scored the ultimate victory in Super Bowl XVIII (1983). Long retired about a decade later and then became a successful actor, snagging a starring role in the 1998 film “Firestorm.”
More recently, former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez made the transition from the field to the silver screen, earning a role in the 2017 film “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.”
— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) January 20, 2017
Former football wide receiver Keith Carlos played for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants before sustaining a career-ending injury in 2013. However, celebrity status was right around the corner. Carlos won “America’s Next Top Model” the following year, landing him a modeling management contract. Now, he’s a highly successful print model.
When former Minnesota Vikings rookie free agent Sean James left the NFL after a brief career in pro football, he went on to sign a contract with the Ford Modeling Agency.. Since then, he has become an activist and urban youth advocate and has earned his MBA.
More Than Just Athletes
Clearly, there are a lot of attractive players currently in the NFL – players who have so much more to offer than what they show on the field on Sundays. While there is plenty of precedent for NFL players becoming models and actors, some of the lesser known players on our list might have extremely bright futures in store for them after they hang up the cleats.
However, this doesn’t take into account players with extremely charismatic personalities, like former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan – whose penchant gap-toothed grin was so endearing to America that he wound up hosting “Good Morning America” on ABC. The next time you’re watching an NFL game, keep in mind that it’s worth paying attention to these players even when their helmets are off.
Have a newfound appreciation for some of these football players? If you want to rep their jersey, head over to Fanatics.com to get the latest gear.
For this project, we compiled the headshots of all active NFL players as of November 18, 2016. Total active players equaled more than 1,600 headshots for survey review.
Respondents were asked to review the headshots and rank the player’s attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most attractive). We submitted the headshot only for review; we omitted the player name, position, and team.
Respondents were allowed to rank as many headshots as they wished. We stopped collecting responses when each image had been ranked at least 10 times by 10 unique respondents.
A total of 400 participants completed the survey. We used the average scores to come up with the most attractive players in the NFL as well as the most attractive teams and positions.
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Top 10 attractive NFL Players 2016 – 2017
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens
- Matt Barkley – Chicago Bears
- Michael Burton – Detroit Lions
- Kyle Emanual – LA Chargers
- Danny Amendola – New England Patriots
- Pat O’Donnell – Chicago Bears
- Artie Burns – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Will Compton – Washington Redskins
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots