Top Undrafted Players to Win a Super Bowl

Winning the Lombardi Trophy and claiming the title of Super Bowl winner is a goal for nearly every NFL player, but some have had a harder road to follow to the ranks of the NFL than others.

That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the best NFL players to win a Super Bowl after going undrafted.

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Ten best undrafted players to win the Super Bowl

From a quarterback to a couple of kickers and several other positions, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best undrafted players to win the Super Bowl:

Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams

  • Position: Quarterback
  • College: Northern Iowa
  • Super Bowl(s) won: XXXIV
  • NFL seasons: 1998-2009

Warner played 12 seasons, mainly with the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. His journey from an undrafted free agent to a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP is one of the NFL’s most remarkable Cinderella stories. Warner, who played college football at Northern Iowa until 1993, didn’t make an NFL roster for four years. After a brief stint with the Green Bay Packers and playing for the Iowa Barnstormers in the Arena Football League, Warner joined the Rams in 1998.

As a starting quarterback the following season, he led the Rams to their first Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XXXIV, earning league and Super Bowl MVP honors. He won another MVP in 2001 and led the Arizona Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII, a game they lost.

Celebrated as the NFL’s greatest undrafted player, Warner is the only undrafted player to be both NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP and the only undrafted quarterback to win a Super Bowl. He made history as the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl in his first season as a starter and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, with the unique distinction of also being in the Arena Football Hall of Fame.

Adam Vinatieri, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts

  • Position: Kicker
  • College: South Dakota State
  • Super Bowl(s) won: XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLI
  • NFL seasons: 1996-2019

Vinatieri played 24 seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Known as one of the greatest kickers ever, he holds the NFL record for most points scored (2,673), most field goals made (599), most postseason points (238), and most overtime field goals (12).

Starting his career with the Patriots in 1996 as an undrafted free agent, Vinatieri won three Super Bowls with them and one with the Colts, making him the kicker with the most Super Bowl wins.

Unique for scoring 1,000 points for two teams, he retired in 2021, the last active player from the 1990s. Vinatieri is famed for his clutch performances, including game-winning kicks in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII, contributing significantly to the Patriots’ early championships. He was named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team in 2019.

Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis Colts

  • Position: Center
  • College: North Carolina
  • Super Bowl(s) won: XLI
  • NFL seasons: 1999-2012

Saturday is known for his time as a center, especially with the Indianapolis Colts. His career boasts six Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl win with the Colts. Saturday’s journey to the NFL started at the University of North Carolina, where he played college football for the Tar Heels.

Initially signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens in 1998, he was released before playing a game. He then joined the Indianapolis Colts, where he had a significant 13-season run, which included winning Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears, four All-Pro team selections, and five Pro Bowl appearances.

James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Position: Linebacker
  • College: Kent State
  • Super Bowl(s) won: XL and XLIII
  • NFL seasons: 2002-2017

Harrison started his football journey at Kent State University and joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002 as an undrafted free agent. Harrison achieved significant recognition in his career, being a five-time Pro Bowl selectee. He was part of the Steelers’ Super Bowl victories in XL and XLIII. In 2008, Harrison notably became the only undrafted player to earn the title of Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year, renowned for his powerful playing style.

Jim Langer, Miami Dolphins

  • Position: Center
  • College: South Dakota State
  • Super Bowl(s) won: VI and VIII
  • NFL seasons: 1970-1981

Langer had a distinguished career in the NFL, primarily as a center with the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings. Recognized for his exceptional skills, Langer was celebrated by BBC Sport as one of the NFL’s greatest centers. His remarkable achievements in the sport were further acknowledged when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, his first year of eligibility.

Rod Smith, Denver Broncos

  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • College: Missouri Southern
  • Super Bowl(s) won: XXXII and XXXIII
  • NFL seasons: 1994-2007

Smith played wide receiver for the Denver Broncos for 14 seasons, winning back-to-back Super Bowls. He embarked on his football journey at Missouri Southern, playing for the Lions in college. Smith began his professional career when the Broncos signed him as an undrafted free agent, and, notably, he spent his entire professional career with the Broncos. As of the 2023 offseason, Smith’s impressive career stats include 849 receptions and 11,389 receiving yards, placing him 30th in all-time receptions and 34th in all-time receiving yards in the NFL.

Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • College: Arkansas
  • Super Bowl(s) won: LII
  • NFL seasons: 2004-current

Peters, an offensive tackle, currently plays for the Seattle Seahawks. His collegiate career was played at Arkansas, after which he joined the Buffalo Bills in 2004 as an undrafted free agent, initially playing as a tight end. In 2009, Peters moved to the Philadelphia Eagles, where he remained for 12 seasons and won a Super Bowl in 2018. His career took him to the Chicago Bears in 2021, followed by a stint with the Dallas Cowboys in 2022. He joined his current team, the Seattle Seahawks, in 2023. Peters holds the distinction of being the oldest active player in the NFL.

Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos

  • Position: Cornerback
  • College: Kansas
  • Super Bowl(s) won: 50
  • NFL seasons: 2011-2022

Harris Jr. entered the professional ranks as an undrafted free agent, being picked up by the Denver Broncos after the 2011 NFL Draft. In his debut NFL season, Harris quickly made a name for himself, earning recognition on the NFL All-Rookie Team and receiving the Breakout Player of the Year award. A highlight of his career came in 2015, when he played a key role in the Broncos’ victory in Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers. That same season, Harris was honored as an All-Pro and a Pro Bowl selection.

Willie Wood, Green Bay Packers

  • Position: Safety
  • College: USC
  • Super Bowl(s) won: I and II
  • NFL seasons: 1960-1971

Wood spent his career as a safety with the Green Bay Packers. Wood achieved significant recognition, being an eight-time Pro Bowler and nine-time All-Pro. His excellence led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989. Before his professional career, Wood played college football at USC, where he made history as the first African-American quarterback in the conference now known as the Pac-12. Despite not being drafted from USC, Wood earned a spot with the Green Bay Packers following a successful tryout. He transitioned to safety in his rookie year and played with the Packers from 1960-1971, contributing to five NFL championship victories, including two Super Bowl wins.

Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

  • Position: Kicker
  • College: Texas
  • Super Bowl(s) won: XLVII
  • NFL seasons: 2012-current

Tucker currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens. He began his career in college football at Texas before joining the Ravens in 2012 as an undrafted free agent. Known for his remarkable accuracy, Tucker is historically the NFL’s second-most precise kicker. He is widely considered among the top placekickers ever. Additionally, Tucker set a record in the NFL with his 66-yard field goal.