In the NFL, size absolutely matters. While there are some other important physical traits to consider like speed and jumping ability, certain NFL positions require a certain level of bulk in order to make a difference on Sundays. In a previous exercise, we craned our necks to have a gander at the tallest NFL players, but today, we’ll take a closer at the heaviest NFL players ever.
As we ourselves enjoy the finest foods and delicacies this summer, we’ll take solace from the notion that waistline expansion will be nothing compared to the players focused on in this piece.
Heaviest NFL players
The heaviest NFL player in the game today is New England Patriots tackle Trent Brown. The gargantuan Brown clocks in at a robust 380 pounds, and has been in the league since 2015. Except for a one year stint in New England in 2018, Brown has spent the majority of his career out west with the 49ers and Raiders.
Let’s take a look at the five players in the history of the league who actually make Brown look small from a weight perspective.
By far the most infamous big guy on our list today, William Perry was a brick house defensive lineman for the vaunted 1985 Chicago Bears defense. Weighing in at 382 pounds, Perry was one of the anchors of Buddy Ryan’s overwhelming “46” scheme, which catapulted the Bears to a 15-1 regular season record, and a Super Bowl title.
Manute Bol was the tallest basketball player ever at 7’7, 240lbs. Bol fought NFL star William Perry (6’4 350lbs) in a celebrity boxing match in 2002, where he would win a 30-27 UD. Bol also has the longest reach ever recorded on a human at 102 inches. RIP Manute Bol 1962-2010. pic.twitter.com/QdOiws4v8i
— ricky 𓃶 (@mysticcrick) December 4, 2020
It’s a little hard to believe, but Perry garnered most the acclaim he would receive in the NFL as a rookie; 1985 was his first season as a professional. Of course, his signature moment in the NFL was taking a handoff at the goal line and plunging his massive frame into the end zone to punctuate Chicago’s championship.
Standing at 6’8”, weighing in at 386 pounds at certain points of his career, McKinnie was a tantalizing prospect coming out of the University of Miami. He was selected seventh overall in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, and was a big (literally and figuratively) reason why running back Adrian Peterson had an impact in the NFL from day one.
When he got to the Baltimore Ravens later in his career, he was challenged to drop some pounds in an effort to have more endurance. McKinnie accepted the challenge, and routinely played around 350 pounds for the Ravens.
It’s an open debate as to which unit was the best offensive line of all time, but the group the Dallas Cowboys featured in the 1990’s has got to be right up there.
One of the central figures of that fearsome bunch was guard Nate Newton, who played in Big D from 1986 through 1998. Nicknamed “The Kitchen”, he paved the way for Emmitt Smith and the running game, and was a part of three Super Bowl winning teams. At one point, Newton weighed a mind blowing 401 pounds. He had some legal troubles throughout his life, but it has been reported that he has taken steps to get things back on track.
He never actually appeared in an NFL game, but Terrell Brown had a cup of coffee with the St. Louis Rams back in 2013. Brown’s physical stature almost defies logic; he was 6’10”, weighing 403 pounds.
Trying to comprehend those numbers in relation to a human being is a tough task, to say the least. In theory, Brown’s size would help him swallow up opposing defenders as an offensive tackle, but it never really worked out that way. His frame didn’t allow him to adjust laterally very well, which ended up being his undoing. Even still, he deserves credit for trying to crack an NFL roster at his size and weight.
At long last, we get to the beefiest of the beefy on our list. Aaron Gibson is another colossal offensive tackle, who spent his career with a few different teams.
He tipped the scale at an other wordly 410 pounds, which the record for the NFL’s heaviest player.
He was selected by the Detroit Lions in the first round of 1999 NFL Draft, and started 10 games with the team during the 2000 season.
Perhaps his best campaign came in 2003 with the Chicago Bears, where Gibson started in all 16 regular season games. Gibson had some trouble controlling his weight after his playing days were over, but was able to rededicate to conditioning, and re-sculpted his abdomen later in life.