The leading European NFL stars

The National Football League is dominated mainly by huge names who hail from the United States of America. However, there are several top-level players who have come to play in the leading American football league from all over the world.

Europe as a continent has seen an abundance of impressive representation in North America throughout the history of the NFL. But who are the leading European stars who are active in the NFL right now?

Efe Obada

Efe Obada is a highly respected defensive end for the Washington Commanders in the NFL. The Nigerian-English player developed his skills in the Netherlands and England, before eventually making the switch to the standout league in America.

Obada was the first-ever player to move directly from a European American football league to the NFL. He moved from the London Warriors to the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. The Lagos-born British national has gone on to play for teams like the Carolina Panthers and the Buffalo Bills since.

Obada’s current team are the Washington Commanders, and he will play in his second consecutive season for them this year. In his debut campaign for the team, he managed 24 tackles and 10 assisted tackles across 17 appearances.

He is not set to enter the field in the ongoing campaign until at least November, as he is still recovering from a knee injury that he suffered in the off-season.

Obada should be a welcome addition to one of the NFL’s struggling teams at present in the Commanders. Many UK betting sites offer the Washington team as one of the biggest playoff outsiders, for example bet365 offers them at -15000 to miraculously emerge as champions in the eventual Super Bowl.

The Commanders conceded more than 30 points in four of their five opening fixtures of the NFL season. Obada however could certainly help to steady the ship on the defensive side of things. He has a strong claim to being Europe’s leading NFL player currently.

Jakub Johnson

Jakub Johnson is another star from Europe who has become an NFL regular over the past several years. The 28-year-old first played for the New England Patriots whom he joined in 2019 from the German football league.

He appeared spontaneously in his debut year but still impressed massively – he became the first player from the International Player Pathway program (IPP) to score a touchdown in the regular season.

Johnson went on to appear in all of the Patriots’ regular season games of the following two years bar one.

He helped them to make the playoffs in his final season on the roster which was his greatest statistical season on record. The French-German national recorded a career-high 43 receiving yards and an average of 10.8 receiving yards per reception.

But since the start of the 2022 season, he has represented the Las Vegas Raiders, who are certainly a stronger outfit than his former team at present, and they have been providing him with a regular starting role.

Throughout his time in the league Johnson has mainly been a depth option for his teams, but this year he could be set to finally play a starring role in the regular season, and perhaps he could even appear in the playoffs with the Raiders.

David Bada

David Bada has a couple of things in common with his fellow European stars mentioned here. Like Obada, he has played for the Commanders, and similarly to Johnson, he is a dual French-German national who came to North America through the league’s IPP program.

Bada is a defensive tackle who has been used sparingly since moving to Washington. He played in just two games in the 2022 season but managed two tackles and two assisted tackles to aid his team’s efforts.

Bada’s NFL career has been brought to a temporary halt this year after he had to undergo surgery to repair his torn triceps which he suffered during the off-season. Like Obada, he should return in the coming months and could provide another solid defensive asset for the team in the capital.

Ultimately, all of these players have shown positive signs of being effective players in the NFL since they joined. They were all signed based on their experience and solid reputations in their European Leagues based in England and Germany. But given time they could offer consistent performances and become vital players for their now American-based teams.

Johnson is perhaps the most established European player at present, but if Obada and Bada can put their injuries behind them, then they could display their impressive defensive abilities regularly at the peak level of American football in the NFL.

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