Which UK-Born Players Have Made It To The NFL & What Team Do They Play For?

With the game ever-growing here in the UK, we are producing more talented American Football players than ever before. In fact, we have a whole crop of talent which have realised their dreams and now have a place on the rosters of NFL teams.

There are some players who have already made a name for themselves and some new recruits that hope to one day become a regular starter for their respective team. We have listed the UK-born players and their stories below:

Name: Jay Ajayi

Team: Miami Dolphins

Position: Running Back

Made it to the NFL: 2015

 

Jay Ajayi, known as the ‘Jay Train’ to his teammates, was born in London in 1993 (23 years old) but moved to Maryland in the United States when he was seven years old. Ajayi played college football at Boise State, where he spent three years and had just under 4,000 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns.

Ajayi was then selected in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins in Round 5 (Pick: 149) and had a tremendous season in 2016. In week’s 6 and 7 he had back-to-back games where he rushed for over 200 yards, becoming only the fourth player to do so in NFL history.

 

Name: Jack Crawford

Team: Atlanta Falcons

Position: Defensive End

Made it to the NFL: 2012

 

Jack Crawford (aged 28) was also born in London (Kilburn) and was in the same class as Harry Potter actor, Daniel Radcliffe. Jack moved to the US in 2005 and eventually attended college at Penn State, where he was given a scholarship.

Jack was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent the majority of his first season as a backup, appearing in just 4 games. During his second season, he featured much more heavily and enjoyed 15 games with the Raiders. In 2014, he signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys where he spent another two seasons.

During this offseason, Crawford signed a three-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

 

Name: Menelik Watson

Team: Denver Broncos

Position: Offensive Tackle

Made it to the NFL: 2013

 

Menelik Watson was born in Manchester in 1988 (28 years old) was known to be good at a few sports. In fact, he had dreams of playing football (soccer) for Manchester City FC. Although, when they didn’t happen he decided to take up basketball where he was spotted by an American coach who signed him to his academy in the Canary Islands. He eventually went onto play college basketball for Marist College during 2009 to 2010.

After transferring his skills to American Football, Menelik was drafted in the second round in 2013 by the Oakland Raiders where he spent three seasons. This offseason Watson has signed a new three-year contract with the Denver Broncos.

 

 

Name: Jermaine Eluemunor

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Position: Offensive Tackle

Made it to the NFL: 2017

 

Jermaine Eluemunor was born in London in 1994 (22 years old) and moved to the United States when he was just 14 years old. After first watching the 2007 Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants game at Wembley on television, Jermaine took an interest in the sport.

Jermaine attended college at Texas A&M, where he played 12 of 13 games in 2016, with three at right guard and nine at right tackle. At the 2017 NFL Combine, Jermaine Eluemunor was tied in second for the highest number of reps during the 225-lb bench press – he made 34.

 

Name: Alex Gray

Team: Atlanta Falcons

Position: Tight End

Made it to the NFL: 2017

 

Twenty-six-year-old, Alex Gray, was born in Bishop Auckland and started his sporting life playing Rugby Union. At 17, Alex signed his first contract with the Newcastle Falcons on a two-year deal. In 2011, he joined London Irish where he made 29 appearances before spending the 2016/17 season with Yorkshire Carnegie.

Gray decided he wanted to pursue a career in the NFL and attended tryouts and the NFL Combine through the NFL’s International Player Pathway program. He was eventually signed by the Atlanta Falcons after going through the Draft as ‘undrafted’.

 

 

Name: Lawrence Okoye

Team: Miami Dolphins

Position: Offensive Lineman

Made it to the NFL: 2013

 

Lawrence was born in Croydon, London to Nigerian parents and is 25 years’ old. He is a man of many sports and actually started out playing Rugby Union as a winger, where he was a member of both London Irish and London Wasps’ academy teams.

Okoye has also represented Great Britain at 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics where he came sixth in the discus throw. Since joining the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, he has moved to a new team each year including Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and most recently, the Miami Dolphins – he has been a member of the practice squad for the majority of teams.

 

Name: Alex Jenkins

Team: New Orleans Saints

Position: Defensive End

Made it to the NFL: 2017

 

Alex is 24 years old and grew up in Bath and began playing football at the Bath City Academy and for the Bristol Aztecs. During his time here, he earned a spot on the Great Britain youth team. From here he earned a scholarship to play college football at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas and has never looked back.

He is currently signed to New Orleans Saints’ practice squad but all going well, we could see him in London when they face the Miami Dolphins on October 1st.

Post Author: Thomas Stocks

Editor, Social Media Guru and Analyst for IntoTheEndZone. Miami Dolphins fan and is in charge of the main @IntoTheEndZone_ account. Tweet us with pretty much anything NFL-related, we would love to chat Football.

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