History’s 10 Biggest NFL Players

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American football is a sport where size matters. Much like wrestling, athletes are not required to be jacked. Therefore, let us view some of the biggest NFL players.

The whole concept of having such large players in the league is for blocking. The more big the athlete is, the easier it gets to block.

Most of these biggest NFL players are 6′4″ to 6′9″, between 300–350 pounds. Similarly, they are blessed with a long and solid wingspan.

Biggest NFL players
History’s 10 Biggest NFL Players (Source: 12up.com)

Moreover, the whole football system is designed to make these players required to be big. For example, defensive linemen must push and be effective to protect the quarterback. Hence, having a larger player in that position makes more sense.

Therefore, let us look at history’s 10 biggest NFL players without further due.

History’s 10 Biggest NFL Player

The players mentioned below are assembled based on their size and height. 

Most of them are compiled about Bleacherreport.com, Twinspires.com, Cbssport.com, and Fanbuzz.com.

Further, before jumping into the details about history’s 10 biggest NFL players, let us quickly view the names present in the list.

Players Name Position Playing Career
10. Ryan Pickett Nose Tackle 2001 – 2014
9. Albert Haynesworth Defensive Tackle 2002 – 2011
8. Shaun Rogers Defensive Tackle 2001 – 2013
7. King Dunlap Offensive Tackle 2008 – 2016
6. Kellen Heard Nose Tackle 2010 – 2013
5. Phil Loadholt Offensive Tackle 2009 – 2015
4. Paul Soliai Defensive Tackle 2007 – 2016
3. Leonard Davis Guard / Tackle 2001 – 2012
2. Marcus Cannon Offensive Tackle 2011 – 2021
1. Bryant McKinnie Offensive Tackle 2002 – 2013

10. Ryan Pickett

Ryan Pickett is a former American football defensive lineman. In particular, the player filled the nose tackle role for three teams in the NFL.

Further, he is 340 lb with a 6 ft 2-inch height. In his prime, he was one of the biggest NFL players.

Many may not recognize the player for his time in the league. However, he was one of the most crucial parts of the Green Bay Packers’ 3-4 defense.

The 3-4 defensive schema is a traditional defensive line. It was famous during the 1980s but had lost its touch in the modern era.

Ryan Pickett
Ryan Pickett during his time with the Green Bay Packers (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Nevertheless, the 2009 Green Bay Packers were desperate to be back in the win column. Therefore, they decided to refer to the traditional defensive line.

Hence, they switched their defensive schema from 4-3 to 3-4. Furthermore, this defensive line highlighted the nose tackle Ryan Pickett who was the perfect fit.

With the help of this defensive schema, the Packers won the Super Bowl XLV. Pickett’s size played a vital role in the victory, which is remembered till the date in Green Bay’s history.

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9. Albert Haynesworth

Albert Haynesworth is recognized for having one of the worst free-agent signings. However, Haynesworth was a strong defensive tackle in his prime. 

The Tennessee Titans selected him out of the University of Tennessee in the first round of the 2002 NFL draft.

Further, he played seven seasons with the team through his 10-year career. During this period, he was feared by almost every offensive coach.

NFL recorded him to be 350 lb at 6 ft 6-inch. Therefore, his size and weight created huge pressure on the opponent’s offensive lineman.

Many coaches and players described him to be a gigantic monster. Combining his size and skill, he quickly asserted himself as one of the league’s top defensive tackles.

biggest nfl players
Albert Haynesworth during his time with the Tennessee Titans (Source: Usatoday.com)

Especially between 2007 and 2008, he was tearing the offense up. No one could get past him. As a result, players were straight shut down during this period.

Hence, the Washington Redskins saw an opportunity and seized it by signing Haynesworth for a seven-year, $100 million contract in free agency.

However, this turned out to be one of the worst signings for the team. The defensive tackle dealt with multiple injuries leading him to play 20 games in two years with the team.

Hence, the Redskins traded one of the biggest NFL players in the league. He played one season with the Patriots and Buccaneers before retiring following his trade. 

8. Shaun Rogers

Shaun Rogers, in his prime, was one of the hardest hitters in the league. He stood at 6 ft 4 inches tall and weighed 350 lbs.

Hence, his physical stature alone was enough to scare normal people, let alone scare an NFL player. It was almost as if a big block of a mountain with huge arms was standing in front.

With his size, he was an instant hit in the defensive end. The Defensive tackle made huge stops and earned three Pro Bowl honors.

There were multiple players his weight playing throughout the league. However, at first glimpse, Rogers always seemed to look bigger than all of them.

Shaun Rogers
Shaun Rogers during training camp (Source: Bigblueview.com)

No wonder his name frequently popped up during the conversation of the biggest NFL players of all time.

Further, along with his quick fame, he also got into frequent trouble. Once, an exotic dancer accused him of sexually assaulting her.

However, the case didn’t hold in court due to a lack of evidence. Similarly, in 2010, cops arrested him at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport for having a loaded gun in his possession.

7. King Dunlap

Carrying such huge weights for players can be very dangerous. Moreover, the players suffered multiple injuries due to the constant running and overpowering opponents.

Players in good shape have no worries regarding injuries, as they can recover and return to play.

However, for some of the biggest NFL players, the load of injuries takes a lot out of them. Hence, they decide to retire from the competitive scenario very early.

King Dunlap
King Dunlap at the Eagles’ training camp (Source: Wikimedia.org)

One such case was with the former NFL offensive lineman King Dunlap. Most of his season was filled by multiple leg-related injuries.

Since the athlete stood at 6 ft 9-inch with a weight of 330 lb, he was very prominent to injuries. The average weight for a 6 ft 9-inch male is from 209 to 250 lb.

Hence, one can only imagine how big of a player Dunlap was. Regardless of his injuries, the player was great at getting his work done.

At the start of his career, he didn’t see much playing time due to multiple injuries. Nevertheless, he made huge progress after his trade with the San Diego Chargers.

As a result, his teammate named him the Chargers’ Lineman of the Year for 2014.

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6. Kellen Heard

Kellen Heard was a former NFL player who went undrafted at the 2010 NFL draft. Despite being undrafted, he came to terms with the Oakland Raiders for four months.

Further, the Buffalo Bills picked him off waivers and utilized his talent for two years. Heard was a nose tackle who was quite good at his stuff.

Due to the 2011 Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl with the 3-4 defensive schema that highlighted the nose tackle, teams in the league searched for good nose tackles.

Hence, the Bills had nothing to lose by experimenting with Heard. In addition to the experiment, the team had to play the nose tackle for less money than the drafted player.

Kellen Heard
Kellen Heard during his time with the Buffalo Bills (Source: Alchetron.com)

As a result, the Bills experiment with Heard for one year with the 3-4 defensive line. However, they couldn’t find their sweet spot like the Packers.

Heard was one of the biggest NFL players on the team that season. Therefore, the Bills were very positive for a better outcome.

Despite his big presence in the file, the team wouldn’t properly utilize his size. Hence, they let go of Heard. He signed with the St. Louis Rams for one season following his waiver.

Similarly, the Rams also let him go, after which he played one season with the Indianapolis Colts. Furthermore, this was his last season in the league.

5. Phil Loadholt

Phil Loadholt was a young prodigy with whom the league had high hopes. But, of course, he never seemed to disappoint his fans and the league with his amazing skill set. 

However, he didn’t last for much longer as injuries ran out most of his seasons. But, of course, being 6 ft 8-inch with 345 lb is no ordinary deal.

Therefore, many had predicted him not to have a long prosperous season in the NFL. Finally, in six years as an offensive lineman of the Minnesota Vikings, he announced his retirement.

However, he helped the team earn a good offensive rating before retiring. In his rookie year, Loadholt paved the way for ranking the Viking’s offense as No. 5.

Phil Loadholt
Phil Loadholt in white and purple is fighting against Clay Matthews. (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In addition, to that, he helped Adrian Peterson go over 2,097 yards and 10 rushing in a single season. This amazing performance helped Peterson win the NFL MVP award.

Similarly, Loadholt was tearing the opponent’s defense with great efficacy. Hence, ProFootballFocus.com recognized him as the highest-rated offensive tackle in the league.

Nevertheless, his glory days were crushed by his Achilles tendon injuries in 2015. Therefore, after his injury, he decided to retire and live a normal life. 

4. Paul Soliai

Paul Soliai is a former American football player. The NFL measures him at the height of 6-feet-4 and a weight of 332 pounds.

Being overweight, the athlete is very quick and athletic. For example, he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds. This is close to the shortest dash, which is 4.53 seconds.

Hence, for a guy who is almost double his body mass index (BMI), to run that fast is unbelievable. Aside from that, he has a 30½-inch vertical jump.

This vertical jump is insane as his weight is clinically termed severe obesity. Further, he received well praise before the draft with such a great performance in the Utah Pro Day.

biggest nfl players
The NFL big man Paul Soliai in 2014 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

However, players his size were more skilled than him. Soliai might be quick and athletic, but he lacked the technique and moves to be great at his position.

As a result, he was not a higher draft prospect. Therefore, the Miami Dolphins drafted him as the fourth round 108th overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Furthermore, the defensive tackle was an average player on the field. He didn’t make much noise as the other player.

It is a shame to see one of the biggest NFL players not being able to perform on a higher level. Nevertheless, he did get Pro Bowl selection, replacing injured Haloti Ngata.

3. Leonard Davis

Leonard Davis was one of the humongous players to play the sport of football. As big his size was, his technique and moves were that huge.

He was a hit in his collegiate playing period. As a result, Arizona Cardinals drafted him as the second overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft.

However, he could never live up to the expectation projected by many NFL scouts. Davis was the starting right guard who later played left tackle for the franchise.

After having several mediocre seasons with the Cardinals, he decided to move elsewhere. Further, with the Dallas Cowboys, he did have some flashy appearance.

Leonard Davis
Leonard Davis during his time with the San Francisco 49ers (Source: Oregonlive.com)

The offensive linemen became Pro Bowler three times with the Cowboys. Similarly, the team made a good run in the playoffs.

Nevertheless, they could never seem to grasp the Super Bowl trophy each season. Hence, Davis was let go after the five-season for declining play and salary cap issues.

He then moved on to the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers, respectively, over the next two years. Unfortunately, in both places, he failed to make his presence felt.

Hence, one of the biggest NFL players of his generation had to call quits to this professional football career.

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2. Marcus Cannon

Marcus Cannon, who some widely regarded as one of the top offensive tackles in the league, might be done with football.

The New England Patriots drafted Marcus as the fifth-round 138th overall pick. Before the draft, many scouts projected him to be the future defensive player of the year.

Further, this prediction might not have been right. However, he did have a great career with the Patriots as their starting offensive linemen.

Cannon measured as 6 ft 6 inches tall with a weight of 335 lb. Moreover, he was one of the biggest NFL players ever drafted by the Patriots that season.

Similarly, he was the second-heaviest player in New England’s franchise history to ever play for them. Furthermore, with the team, he made major headlines. 

Marcus Cannon
Marcus Cannon with the Patriots in 2011 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Cannon won three Super Bowls (XLIX, LI, LIII) with the New England Patriots. He was great reliability in covering for the quarterback Tom Brady.

Besides that, he had a long ten-year career with the Patriots. He might still be playing with the team, but he opted out in 2020 due to concerning COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, the offensive linemen did return for the 2021 season with the Houston Texans. However, that need in the Texans realizing him the same season.

As of now, there is no news of him returning or retiring from football. Nevertheless, there might be clearer news in the upcoming days, depending on his situation.

1. Bryant McKinnie

Out of all the biggest NFL players, Bryant McKinnie is the biggest of them all. The NFL measures him at 6 ft 8-inch height with a weight of 352 lb.

His size was so huge that it made the other 6 footers look smaller than him. Further, his presence on the field was enough to tip the favor in their direction.

McKinnie was a monster ready to feed on his opponent’s defense. The Minnesota Vikings drafted the offensive linemen as the seventh overall in the 2002 NFL draft.

He was a huge hit for the team as he started every game for the team from 2003 to 2007. Altogether, he had a total of 80 consecutive starts for the franchise.

biggest nfl players
Bryant McKinnie during his time with the Baltimore Ravens (Source: Wikimedia.org)

However, injuries started piling up for the player. Hence, McKinnie was eventually let go in the 2011 NFL season.

Moreover, he then moved on to play for the Baltimore Ravens, with who he won the Super Bowl XLVII. Bryant was a huge part of the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory.

As a result, the franchise signed him for three more seasons. Nevertheless, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins in the following season, where he started playing sluggishly.

Furthermore, he ended the season with one of the worst performances of his career. Therefore, he knew this was his time to retire.

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The NFL is a sport for all types of players. However, due to the play structure, the game requires players with lean bodies who normally would be referred to as obsessed.

Whatever, the case is, witnessing such players on the field hustling for a victory.

Especially witnessing some of the biggest NFL players is fun as most people their size can’t do what they do daily. Hence, let’s appreciate their dedication to the game.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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