Odell Beckham is top social media influencer among NFL players; Florida teams lag behind
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) talks with head coach Doug Pederson during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Tyreek Hill is Florida's top NFL influencer.

As the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers prepare to duke it out for the NFL championship in Las Vegas Sunday, a new analysis is crowning the champs of social media among active players in the league for 2023.

The most notable social media influencer among NFL players in the past year was Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, who just missed a trip to Super Bowl LVIII when his team lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game Jan. 27. But according to Canada Sports Betting their research shows Beckham was the NFL player with the most prolific following on social media.

The online gambling service found Beckham has about 17.72 million followers on his Instagram social media account alone under the handle “OBJ.” His move to the Ravens roster in April was part of the reason the star receiver saw such a big boost in followers in 2027, the Canada Sports Betting analysis concluded.

Beckham’s tally of social media followers far outpaced any other NFL player, more than doubling anyone else. The closest player to Beckham was Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ quarterback, with about 6.09 million Instagram followers under his handle “PatrickMahomes.”

Despite a rocky season and conflict with his new head coach Sean Payton, Denver Broncos quarterback Russel Wilson had the third most followers among players in the NFL, with about 5.52 million under his handle “DangerussWilson.”

Mahomes’s teammate followed closely in fourth. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who also happens to be the boyfriend of pop star Taylor Swift, racked up about 5.44 million followers on Instagram under the handle “T_Kelce87.”

Florida NFL players aren’t even in the same ballpark compared to those numbers of being a competitive social media influencer. Only Tyreek Hill, wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins, exceeded 2 million followers on Instagram with about 2.52 million social media users keeping track of him on Instagram under the handle “Cheetah.”

Tampa Bay upstart quarterback Baker Mayfield, who rebounded in his NFL career and led the Gulf Coast squad to the playoffs this season, registered about 1.54 million followers on Instagram under the handle of “BakerMayfield.”

Trevor Lawrence, captain and QB for the Jacksonville Jaguars, is a somewhat distant third for Florida NFL players with social media influence. He has about 1.04 million followers on Instagram under the handle “TLawrence16.”

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


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