Since the turn of the 21st century, the NFL has continued to be one of the most popular pro sports leagues on the entire planet. Many of the best players are household names in America and around the world. How much do you really think you know about NFL stars who have played since 2000?
Yes, you already know that Tom Brady is the celebrated quarterback of the New England Patriots. But do you know where he rode the bench for much of his college career? And do you have any idea how many NFL records he’s broken as a starter in the pros?
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is exceedingly short (5’11) by NFL standards. But he’s already accomplished things much taller (and more highly anticipated) quarterbacks have failed to do — including winning the Super Bowl. What do you know about the NFL’s other underrated stars?
Although QBs get most of the glory, the NFL is full of other big names. There are the beefy, powerful linebackers like Von Miller, Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner, and Vic Beasley. Do you know any other current defensive players who blow up plays with regularity?
From running backs like David Johnson and Jay Ajayi to wide receivers such Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant, today’s NFL is packed with more amazing players than ever before. Take our NFL stars quiz now and see if you know these 21st century gridiron warriors!
In college, receiver Julio Jones was lucky enough to win a BCS Championship at Alabama. He’s still a southern boy, but now he plays for the Falcons, where he's the go-to man for Matt Ryan.
He was a sixth-round draft pick out of Michigan when he landed in coach Bill Belichick’s sphere of influence with the Patriots. Under Belichik’s tutelage, Tom Brady went on to win five Super Bowl titles, tied for the most ever.
In 2014, Eric Berry was diagnosed with lymphoma. He beat the disease and returned to the field, making him the 2015 Comeback Player of the Year and inspiration to the whole Chiefs locker room.
Von Miller was a consensus All-American at A&M. Then, he took his talents to Denver in 2011, and he’s already six-time Pro Bowler.
A.J. Green was extraordinary right from the start. He was a Pro Bowl selection as a Bengals rookie, a fact that justified his high (fourth overall) pick in the draft.
Prescott was flung into the stoplight when QB Tony Romo suffered (yet another) injury. He didn’t wilt under pressure — instead, the rookie led Dallas to the top of the conference.
No other player has ever caught 400 passes in his first four seasons. Dolphins standout Jarvis Landry did just that, and also led the entire NFL in receptions in 2017.
The Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill is ridiculous fast. On kick returns, especially, "Cheetah" often makes defenders look like they’re standing still.
Drew Brees is a relentless passing phenom. Five times, he’s passed for more than 5,000 yards. No other QB comes close to that feat.
Antonio Brown was a sixth-round pick out of Central Michigan. He used that very large chip on his shoulder to become an extraordinary go-to receiver for the Steelers.
Beckham, Jr. has the slashing speed and great hands to make incredible catches. But as Giants fans often groan, he’s perhaps best known for being undisciplined and unruly to the point of distraction.
Marcus Peters gained respect for his playmaking ability in Kansas City, where he led the entire league in total interceptions since 2015. He’ll try to duplicate his sucess with the Rams.
Khalil Mack is so good that he was picked as the AP’s Player of the Year for two positions — outside linebacker and defensive end, with the Raiders. He also still holds the NCAA’s record for forced fumbles, which he recorded while at the University of Buffalo.
The texture of the game changes when safety Earl Thomas is on the field for the Seahawks. His vicious hitting ability and leadership is a primary reason the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII against the Broncos.
Foles seemed doomed to a permanent backup role when injuries thrust him to the starting position in Philadelphia. He led the Eagles to an unexpected triumph against the Patriots — and was named the game’s MVP, to boot.
J.J. Watt has been slowed by injuries recently, but he still holds Houston’s record for total sacks and also forced fumbles. When he’s healthy, his presence alone changes the offense’s strategies.
At Florida State, Jameis Winston not only won the Heisman, but he won a national title, too. Now he’s trying to lead Tampa Bay to an NFL title.
Brady’s consistency is legendary — he’s led the Patriots to eight Super Bowl appearances, more than anyone else in NFL history.
Jordy Nelson was QB Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target in Green Bay. He was traded in rather insulting fashion to the Raiders after the 2017 season.
Cousins did everything right in his campaigns for the Redskins, but when his price tag went too high, the club shipped him off to the Vikings. Given the Redskins' organizational disarray, the move may be a very good one for this star QB.
Since entering the league in 2004, WR Larry Fitzgerald has been an 11-time Pro Bowler. And he is — so far — third in all-time receptions.
For years, Rob "Gronk"kowski has been the best tight end in the NFL. But tough injuries have made it much harder for him to excel in recent games.
In 2009, with New Orleans still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, Drew Brees led the Saints on a tour de force during the regular season. Then, in the Super Bowl, he led a rally to beat the Colts, led by QB Peyton Manning, 31-17.
Cooper was a fabulous receiver for Alabama and became the fourth overall pick of the 2015 draft. Since joining the Raiders, he’s made the Pro Bowl twice.
LeSean McCoy scored 14 TDs in his first year at the University of Pittsburgh, and was later drafted by the Eagles. In his second NFL season, he topped 1,000 yards and made first team All-Pro.
Kelce is the dashing young tight end for the Chiefs, one who seems capable of taking Ron Gronkowski’s throne as best tight end in the league. He’s also the star of a dating TV show called "Catching Kelce."
David Johnson rushed for 49 TDs at UNI and then proved he belonged in the NFL. With the Cardinals, in 2016 alone, he rushed for more than 1,200 yards.
Clay Matthews bounds around the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field with his long golden locks streaming from out of his helmet. In 2010, he had 13.5 sacks en route to a season that found the Packers winning the Super Bowl.
Derek Carr has been a revelation for the Raiders, helping the team contend for the AFC West title. And for whatever reason, his pretty eyelashes seem to be permanently coated with black mascara.
Smith was one of the steadiest QBs in the league during his stint with Kansas City ... but he couldn’t help the Chiefs find success in the playoffs. He’ll try to take his game to the next level with the Redskins