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Over the years, native Americans have made telling impacts in the NFL, but who have been the most prominent players in the country’s most popular sports league? Here are our top 8 native American NFL players.


James Winchester


Choctaw native, James Winchester is a two-time Super Bowl winner, having been part of that Kansas City Chiefs roster that won the championship in 2020 and 2023. After going undrafted, the long snapper joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 before moving on to the Chiefs in 2015. Winchester has mastered his role in the Chief’s team and could well add to his two championships before calling time on his NFL career. With the chiefs once again boasting one of the strongest teams in the league, they are amongst the bookmakers’ favourites to go all the way. It is pretty common to find US bookies include dedicated offers on Kansas City winning the Big Game as part of their betting promotions for the Super Bowl.


Jim Thorpe


We travel back to the pre-Super Bowl era to pay homage to Jim Thorpe. The great man, from the Sac and Fox nation (modern-day Oklahoma), was indeed a man of many talents, excelling in a variety of disciplines. Not only did he play professional football, he was also highly skilled in Athletics, winning gold medals in pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Summer Olympics! Thorpe featured for a number of professional football teams in his day, including the Canton Bulldogs, who were amongst the founding members of the American Professional Football Association, with Thorpe becoming the body’s first president. That organisation would metamorphose into the NFL a couple of years later.

Dakota Prescott


Another native American to earn rave reviews in his rookie year, Dakota Prescott, of Choctaw-Apache heritage, won the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016, breaking several rookie passing records in his rookie season. Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 draft, Prescott was initially meant to be an understudy to established quarterback, Tony Romo, but when Romo suffered an injury in the lead up to the season, Prescott was immediately thrust into the deep end of the NFL, starting the Cowboys season-opener against the New York giants. He has been an immovable fixture for the Cowboys ever since, with only injuries keeping him out. He missed the majority of the 2020 campaign with a right ankle injury, and also spent part of 2022 on the sidelines with a thumb complaint. Other than that, he’s been an ever-present in the Dallas line-up.

Keenan Allen


Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, Keenan Allen has his roots in the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. The wide receiver was the 76th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, chosen by the San Diego Chargers (now Los Angeles Chargers). He was one of the most promising young players in the league in his early years, and was runner-up in the Associated Press (AP) Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2013. Allen had injury troubles in the subsequent seasons, but produced a consistent 2017 to emerge as the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He has remained a consistent presence in the Chargers line-up over his so-far decade-long career.

Sam Bradford


A native of the Cherokee Nation, Sam Bradford was arguably the best young player in the NFL when he first entered the league. After impressing in the NCAA, Bradford blazed into the NFL as the first overall pick in 2010. He was selected by the St. Louis Rams, and went straight to work, bagging the Offensive Rookie of the Year award after setting the record for the most pass completions by a rookie in the league’s long history. Bradford would also represent the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals in a nine-season NFL career. He had his moments through the years, but never truly matched the expectations he had set in his early football years.

Austin Corbett


Drafted as the 33rd overall pick in 2018, Northern Paiute native, Austin Corbett started his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns, but he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, and would go on to enjoy his most successful season a few years later. Corbett started every single game in the 2021-2022 season, including the play-offs and the Super Bowl, which the Rams would win following a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The offensive guard linked up with the Carolina Panthers in 2022, but has since been derailed by injury problems.

Al Hoptowit


We go down memory lane for our next entry, with the late Al Hoptowit of the Yakima tribe taking his place as one of the best native American NFL players. The tackle, born in Yakima, Washington was selected as the 91st overall pick in 1938. He made his name with the Chicago Bears, with whom he was an NFL Champion in 1942. 

Creed Humphrey


Drafted by Kansas in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft, Creed Humphrey did not take long to taste NFL silverware, winning the Super Bowl with the Chiefs in 2023. Humphrey was the starting centre for Kansas City in that Super Bowl final against the Philadelphia Eagles, and was a steady presence as the Chiefs recovered from a half-time deficit to pull off a 38-35 victory. Humphrey was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Potawatomi tribe.