The NFL is full of big guys slamming into each other as hard and fast as they can, so surely that means the bigger the better? As far as these players’ coaches were concerned, the answer was yes, and they were chosen for their bulk. There have been lots of big guys in the NFL, but these are the biggest and heaviest of all time.
Aaron Gibson – 410 lbs
Gibson was a monster in the NFL, and he weighed in at a colossal 410 lbs. He was a 6’6” beast that could tear offenses down single-handedly and was snapped up in the first round of the 1999 draft by the Detroit Lions. The Lions have a long history of being unsuccessful, especially when it comes to Super Bowls, but they had high hopes their one-man wrecking machine could change things.
Despite his size, Gibson struggled to impose himself on the league, and after bouncing around teams for several years, he began playing arena football. Gibson only managed 34 starts in the NFL as he was unable to make his huge size count in his and his team’s favor. Gibson retired in 2010 after years signed to arena football teams but on the injured reserves list.
Nate Newton – 335 lbs
Nate Newton didn’t come to the NFL in the traditional way through the draft, but his journey to professional football began with the Washington Redskins. He signed as a rookie with the Washington team but was cut, and the same night he learned he was cut was involved in a serious car accident. After healing up, Newton signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1986, and this would work out much better for him.
The giant guard used all of his 335 lbs frame to devastating effect on the football field. He was part of the Cowboys sides to win three Super Bowls, and Newton was selected for the Pro Bowl game six times. Newton is one of the best-ever ‘big guys’ to play in the NFL.
William “The Refrigerator” Perry – 350 lbs
When you’ve earned the nickname “The Refrigerator,” you know people think you’re big. William Perry was one of the biggest guys to ever play in the NFL, but he was surprisingly agile for someone his size. His 350 lbs body could move in ways no one would have expected, and for several years he was a dangerous part of the Chicago Bears defense.
Perry won the Super Bowl with the Bears after becoming a standout player in the league following the 1985 draft. Multi-talented, Perry was able to play more than one position thanks to the combination of speed and strength so found himself both at fullback and defensive tackle. In 138 NFL games, Perry registered 29.5 sacks and even scored three offensive touchdowns.
Gilbert Brown – 340 lbs
At 6’2” and 340 lbs, Gilbert Brown was a terrifying prospect for anyone playing opposite him. Despite his huge size, Brown had to wait until the third round of the draft for a team to pick him up in 1993. When he lined up for his new team, the Minnesota Vikings, in preseason, they didn’t fancy him so cut Brown, which was to the Green Bay Packers’ benefit.
They snapped up the huge player and quickly integrated him into their defense. Despite a few injuries, Brown was with the Packers for ten years and helped them lift the Super Bowl trophy in 1997 against the Patriots. Once he finished playing, Brown went into coaching to help nurture future talents through his experience in the NFL.
Grady Jackson – 345 lbs
Defensive tackle Grady Jackson weighed in at 345 lbs during his NFL career, and he put that weight to great use. In a career that lasted over ten seasons, Jackson scored 359 tackles, 35.35 sacks, and forced five fumbles. Many teams seem unwilling to take a gamble on big players, and Jackson found himself way down the pecking order at the 1997 draft.
Selected as the 193rd pick, Jackson began his career with the Oakland Raiders and stayed with the team for five years. After leaving the Raiders, he traveled around the league a big and played for the Packers, Saints, Falcons, and Lions. Jackson’s final season came in 2009 and over his career he managed 1985 appearances. He might not have had a Hall of Fame career, but Jackson definitely left his impression on the NFL.
Michael Jasper – 375 lbs
Offensive guard Michael Jasper is one of the biggest guys to ever play in the league at 375 lbs. Despite his impressive size, his NFL career never got going, and after signing with several teams, including the Panthers, Jasper failed to get any time on the field. He was unfancied from the beginning and was the 245th draft pick in 2011, where he headed to the Buffalo Bills.
Jasper was in the reserve squad during his time with the Bills and thought he might get a start when he was activated following an injury to a first-teamer. He never got the call to get on the field, and Jaspar’s only professional game time came with the Omaha Nighthawks in the United Football League.
Korey Stringer – 346 lbs
Korey Stringer was at the top of his career when sadly he passed away after suffering from complications with heat stroke at a training camp. At 346 lbs, the offensive tackle was one of the most effective in the league at the time, and he was sorely missed by the Vikings. His shirt number was retired by Minnesota after his passing.
Stringer had just been selected for the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2000, but didn’t get the opportunity to play another season. During his playing days, he barely missed a game, sitting out just three games in six seasons.
These players were all fearsome opponents for anyone facing against them. Their careers might have followed different paths, but they are the biggest and heaviest players of all time in the NFL.