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- iHaveNet.com: NFL Football
NFL 2016: Foreign Players Add International Feel
While the NFL continues to grow in popularity across the globe, international players are making an impact on the field.
For the 10th time in the past 11 seasons, at least one player who attended high school outside of the United States was selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
This year, the Minnesota Vikings made NFL history by selecting German wide receiver MORITZ Bohringer in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, making him the first player drafted out of a European league without playing college football in the United States.
Minnesota is a fitting destination for the German Football League product, as his first exposure to the game was watching Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's highlights on YouTube. Bohringer's first season of competitive football was in 2013 with the Crailsheim Titans. The receiver joined the top-level German Football League last season, quickly becoming a star player for the Schwabish Hall Unicorns on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year Award.
"I searched for a team in Germany and found one in my hometown, but we only had seven players," Bohringer recalls. "We just practiced a bit, and after half a year, we found a full team about 25 miles from my hometown and I played there." Discussing the popularity of football in Germany, Bohringer says, "Over the last few years, the sport has definitely gotten bigger.
Last year, there were games shown on free TV in Germany. That has a big part. There are more people playing."
Foreign-born players in the NFL
|ALBANIA||G Kristjan Sokoli, Sea|
|AMERICAN SAMOA||FB Joey Iosefa, NE; G Mike Iupati, AZ; G, Nila Kasitati, Was; G Lene Maiava, Sea; DT Domata Peko, Cin; DE Ropati Pitoitua, Ten; DT Paul Soliai, Car; Vi Teofilo, SD; DT Destiny Vaeao, Phi|
|AUSTRALIA||P Jordan Berry, Pit; G Blake Muir, SF; P Brad Wing, NYG; G David Yankey, Car; P Lachlan Edwards, NYJ|
|BAHAMAS||G Alex Cooper, Cin|
|BELIZE||DE Rakeem Nunez-Roches, KC|
|BRAZIL||K Cairo Santos, KC|
|CAMEROON||G Arie Kouandjio, Was; T Cyrus Kouandjio, Buf; T Stephane Nembot, Bal|
|CANADA||DE Medi Abdesmad, Ten; T Brett Boyko, SD; DT Stefan Charles, Det; DT Christian Covington, Hou.; DT Tyrone Crawford, Dal; G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, KC; T David Foucault, Car; C Brett Jones, NYG; WR TJ Jones, Det; LS L.P. LaDouceur, Dal; DE Cleyon Lang, Mia; T Austin Pasztor, Cle; P Jon Ryan, Sea; WR Rashaun Simonise, Cin; WR Tevaun Smith, Ind; DE Brent Urban, Bal; G/C John Urschel, Bal; RB Tyler Varga, Ind; TE Luke Willson, Sea|
|CONGO||LB Andy Mulumba, KC|
|DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||G Josue Matias, Ten|
|ENGLAND||RB Jay Ajayi, Mia; DE Jack Crawford, Dal; DT Josh Mauro, AZ; T Menelik Watson, Oak|
|ESTONIA||DE Margus Hunt, Cin|
|FRANCE||WR Anthony Dablé, NYG|
|GERMANY||WR Moritz Bohringer, Min; LB Kasim Edebali, NO; FB Jerome Felton, Buf; TE Ladarius Green, Pitt; WR R.J. Harris, NO; CB Mike Jenkins, TB; WR Jamaal Jones, SD; DT Marcus Kuhn, NE; P Jeff Locke, Min; LB Mark Nzeocha, Dal; T Tyrus Thompson, NO; T Sebastian Vollmer, NE; LB Bjoern Werner, Jax; S Andrew Williamson, Ind|
|GHANA||DE Ezekiel Ansah, Det|
|HAITI||T Gosder Cherilus, TB; CB Pierre Desir, Cle; G Vladimir Ducasse, Bal; S Karl Joseph, Oak; LB Dadi Nicolas, KC|
|ITALY||K Giorgio Tavecchio, Oak; S Mykkele Thompson, NYG|
|JAMAICA||S Patrick Chung, NE; DT Kenrick Ellis, Min; G Orlando Franklin, SD; G Laken Tomlinson, Det|
|JAPAN||QB Robert Griffin III, Cle; TE Jack Tabb, NO|
|KENYA||G Rees Odhiambo, Sea; DE Helva Mantungulu, NYJ|
|LIBERIA||LB Tamba Hali, KC; LB Jonathan Massaquoi, KC; LB Sio Moore, Ind|
|NEW ZEALAND||RB Paul Lasike, Chi; DT Stephen Paea, Was|
|NIGERIA||WR Nelson Agholor, Phi; LB Jerry Attaochu, SD; LB Obum Gwachum, NO; DE Efe Obada, KC; DT David Onyemata, NO|
|POLAND||K Sebastian Janikowski, Oak|
|SCOTLAND||K Graham Gano, Car|
|SOUTH KOREA||DT Kyle Love, Car|
|TONGA||DT Star Lotulelei, Car|
|TRINIDAD||LB Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil, Ten|
|TURKEY||WR Chris Conley, KC|
|VIRGIN ISLANDS||DT Linval Joseph, Min|
|ZIMBABWE||DE Stansly Maponga, NYG|