There have been plenty of NFL greats that once played for Michigan football and here are the top 15 former Wolverines to shine in the NFL.
Over the years, a long list of former Michigan football players have had a significant impact on the National Football League.
Recently, we broke down some of the biggest NFL draft busts in Michigan football history and now, it feels like a perfect time to explore some of the best Wolverines to play in the league.
Choosing the No. 1 player on the list is pretty easy. Tom Brady isn’t just the greatest Michigan football player to play in the NFL, but the seven-time Super Bowl champion is the greatest player to wear an NFL uniform, period.
That’s not debatable, so it’s not much of a mystery as to who will claim the top spot. Separating out the top 15 NFL players from Michigan football wasn’t easy though.
There have been nine former Michigan football players elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and it’s safe to say you’ll find all nine guys on this list.
Former Michigan football players that you won’t find and just missed the cut include current head coach Jim Harbaugh, former Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard, New York Giants legend Amani Toomer, current Eagles defensive end Amani Toomer, and also long-time Eagles starting left tackle Jon Runyan.
With that in mind, here’s our ranking of the top 15 Michigan football players of all time in the NFL.
15. Anthony Carter, wide receiver
One of the first guys to make the No. 1 famous among wide receivers at Michigan football, Anthony Carter was one of the greatest Wolverines wide receivers of all time and was stellar in the league too with nine seasons as a starter and three Pro Bowl berths.
Carter led the NFL in yards per reception with an average of 24.3 in 1987 when he caught 38 passes for 922 yards and seven touchdowns in just 12 games. After that, he had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the Vikings.
Even though he didn’t play in a pass-happy era, Carter caught 486 passes for 7,733 yards and 55 touchdown receptions. His career yards-per-reception average was 15.9. Furthermore, he ranked in the top 10 three times in receiving yards and receptions during his career and remains one of the most productive Michigan football receivers in NFL history.