Best Hispanic Football Players in History of NFL
Ranking the best Latino NFL Players All-Time in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
The game of football continues to evolve as the NFL continues to dominate its popularity within the United States as well as with the growth around the world. With this growth, the game of football continues to see a wide range of individuals from all over the world become fans as well as big time contributors in the game of football. As many countries refer to football as what Americans call soccer, these other countries are slowly adapting the game that is played within the United States.
This expansion and the popularity growth of the sport has opened the door for many great Latino players to play the game over the years as well as in today’s NFL. With that said, here is our list of the Top 10 Latino NFL Football Players of All-Time in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month
Best Latino Players All-Time
Team(s): Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins
A name that is well deserving to land on the Top 10 list is the former Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster. Foster, whose mother is Mexican-American, was as dominant as any running back over his eight year NFL career. Foster led the NFL in 2010 in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns while also leading the NFL in 2012 in rushing touchdowns.
Over his career, Foster racked up 6,527 rushing yards to go with 54 rushing touchdowns and 14 receiving touchdowns. If Foster stayed healthy over his last four years, it is hard to not imagine him not reaching 10,000 plus rushing yards.
Team(s): San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans
A veteran journeyman around the NFL, Jeff Garcia started his playing career within the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders before landing with the San Francisco 49ers in 1999.
During his CFL days, Garcia made four straight West Division All-Stars, led his team to the Grey Cup Championship, and won the Grey CUP MVP as well as the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy. During his NFL career, Garcia threw for 25,537 yards to go along with 161 touchdown passes to just 83 interceptions while earning four trips to the NFL Pro Bowl.
Team(s): Minnesota Vikings, Boston Patriots
Much like Garcia, Kapp spent parts of his career playing in the CFL with both the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions before landing on with the Minnesota Vikings to start the 1967 NFL season. During his time in the CFL Kapp was a CFL All-Star, Grey Cup Champion and won the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy.
Over his four years in the NFL three with the Vikings and one with the Boston Patriots, Kapp put together a solid resume throwing for 5,911 yards with 40 touchdown passes. Kapp helped lead the Vikings to their first ever playoff appearance in 1968 before leading the team to the Super Bowl the following season.
Team(s): Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers, Oakland/LA Raiders
The former Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Raiders stud linebacker, Ted Hendricks was the first Guatemalan born player to play in the NFL. Hendricks, who put together a brilliant NFL career played 15 seasons while finishing his career in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990.
Over his career, Hendricks made eight Pro Bowl teams, four first team All-Pro honors and helped lead his teams to four Super Bowl championships. His play on the field with the Miami Hurricanes earned him the nickname the “The Mad Stork”. Hendricks finished his career with 61 sacks to go along with 26 interceptions.
Team(s): Los Angeles Rams
Coming in at number six is the former Los Angeles Rams split end Tom Fears. Fears, who was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1976 was as dominant as any receiver or running back in the NFL during his playing days in an ERA that had yet to evolve into the passing game it is today.
Fears ranked near the top or ahead of every receiver in the NFL during his first three seasons including setting the single season catch record in 1949 with 77 total catches before breaking it again with 84 just a season later. Fears also set the record for most catches in a game with 18. Both records were later surpassed. In addition to those accolades, Fears was an All-Pro, NFL Champion and led the NFL in receiving yards.
Team(s): Dallas Cowboys
One of the most accomplished quarterbacks of his time is the former Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo. Romo, whose grandfather emigrated from Mexico played the game with a passion to succeed and now has continued his success into his broadcasting career. Despite failing to win an NFC Championship or Super Bowl, Romo put together a brilliant NFL career.
Over his career, Romo passed for 34,183 yards to go with 248 touchdowns to just 117 interceptions while completing 65.3 percent of his passes. His success helped him earn four trips to the Pro Bowl and a second team All-Pro honor.
Team(s): Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers
It’s hard to look past Jim Plunkett as one of the Top 10 Latino NFL Football Players of All-Time. Plunkett who played his career with the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland/Los Angeles Rams finished his career with two Super Bowl titles, a Super Bowl MVP award, won the AFC Rookie of the Year award as well as the 1980 NFL Comeback of the Year award. Over his career, Plunkett threw for 25,882 yards to go with 164 touchdowns while posting an 8-2 record during the NFL Playoffs.
Steve Van Buren
Team(s): Philadelphia Eagles
Another NFL Latino Hall of Famer is the former Philadelphia Eagles half back Steve Van Buren. Van Buren who was a Honduran-American football player, was as fast and powerful as any back to play the position over the course of the history of the NFL. His style of running that included both power and speed, earned him a wide range of nicknames including “Supersonic Steve” and “Wham Bam”.
Over his career with the Eagles, Van Buren rushed for 5,860 yards to go with 69 rushing touchdowns and five return touchdowns. His success on the field helped him to lead the NFL in rushing and rushing touchdowns in four different seasons while helping him earn first team All-Pro honors in five different seasons.
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Team(s): Cincinnati Bengals
When it comes to the top two Latino football players it is hard to slot which one is deserving of number two and which should go to number one. That said, Anthony Muñoz comes in at number two on our list after a stellar NFL career as one of the best offensive lineman of All-Time.
Muñoz spent his entire career from 1980 to 1992 with the Cincinnati Bengals after being selected number three overall during the 1980 NFL draft. Muñoz started 182 of his 185 games during his career while earning nine first team All-Pro honors and 11 trips to the Pro Bowl. His success helped him land on the 1980’s All-Decade team as well as spots on the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.
Team(s): Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons
Coming in at number one on the list of the Top 10 Latino Football players of All-Time is the former Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who played 17 NFL Seasons, was the 13th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs during the 1997 NFL draft.
Gonzalez, who ranks near or at the top of the list among all NFL tight ends, finished his career with 1,325 receptions to go with 15,127 yards and 11 touchdowns. During his career, Gonzalez earned six first team All-Pro honors, 14 trips to the NFL Pro Bowl and a spot on the 2000’s NFL All-Decade team.
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