20 most insane physical freaks in the NFL today

By Rachel Wold
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the most part, dad bodies in the NFL simply don’t cut it. Instead, NFL athletes must train ferociously to achieve their best physical shape possible to dominate at their position. This means strict workout regimes and healthy dietary habits are a must.

But, some players often go beyond the call of duty when it comes to staying fit. The words ripped, chiseled and buff definitely apply to the guys we showcase here.

The gym — rather than on the couch eating junk food — is where we most likely would see these 20 insane physical freaks of the NFL.

Antonio Brown, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers

AB works out like a machine. It would seem he hardly takes a day of rest. It is not shocking that he recently labeled a very chiseled picture of himself, “The New Hulk.” Brown doesn’t let the fact that he is 5-foot-10 get in the way of making huge plays. He is coming off a spectacular season in which he recorded a league-high 1,533 yards as well as a league-best 109.5 yards per game. As Brown enters his ninth season in the league, no end to his career appears to be in sight.

Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE, Houston Texans

When this 6-foot-5, 270-pound pass rusher is healthy, he is a complete beast on the field. Last season marked Clowney’s best to date. He recorded 9.5 sacks and 59 combined tackles. His physical skills often go unmatched. The upcoming season marks Clowney’s fifth since the Texans selected him first-overall in 2014.

Christian McCaffrey, running back, Carolina Panthers

Already an athletic freak, McCaffrey has spent the offseason adding even more muscle to his physique. McCaffrey does it all when it comes to rushing and receiving and he is ridiculously hard to catch in the open field. At 5-foot-11, McCaffrey’s shiftiness and precise route running make him an invaluable talent who can line up in multiple formations. It was not shocking at all to see the Panthers go all in when they selected this Stanford product eighth overall in 2017.

Julio Jones, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Jones’ freakish athleticism sets him a step ahead of many at his position. He has always been known for making big plays and has averaged 15.5 yards per catch in his seven-year NFL career. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, and originally drafted sixth-overall in 2011, Jones has averaged a lofty 95.3 yards per game. At the end of the day, opposing defenders typically come up short attempting to shut Jones down.

Myles Garrett, defensive end, Cleveland Browns

There’s a reason that Garrett was projected to be drafted No. 1 overall in 2017. Even the Browns could not mess this one up when they selected the most physically daunting defender in last year’s draft. The phenomenal combination of strength and speed that Garrett displays is jaw-dropping. The 6-foot-4, 272-pound pass rusher finished 2017 with seven sacks in 11 games. And, he has been busy getting even buffer for 2018.

Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens

Fans of this quarterback can’t wait to see how the Ravens plan to utilize their ultra-physical, mobile rookie quarterback. We can guess Joe Flacco is probably a little jealous of Jackson’s guns. Though, Flacco has six inches of height over Jackson’s athletic 6-foot stature. Jackson arrives to Baltimore after recording a total of 5,261 combined yards and 45 touchdowns with Louisville last season. Stay tuned for what is in store for Jackson in the pros.

Le’Veon Bell, running back, Pittsburgh Steelers

A Bell siting before the start of the season might be rare but that does not mean the 26-year-old running back won’t return in tip-top shape. At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, Bell defies defenders all day long on the field. Well-versed as a rusher and receiver, Bell is the best all-around player at his position. The Steelers have leaned on their two-time All-Pro heavily since he was drafted in 2013 as evidenced by his 1,541 total touches, 7,996 yards and 42 touchdowns.

J.J. Watt, defensive end, Houston Texans 

J.J. Watt

When Watt takes the field, he is like a superhero in action. Quarterbacks are wise to fear all 295 pounds of Watt’s 6-foot-5 body. A body that had a private cabin built so he could train uninterrupted during his offseasons. The 29-year-old pass rusher has recorded 76 career sacks and 394 combined tackles since being selected 11th overall in 2011. It is no wonder he has earned Defensive Player of the Year honors three times.

Saquon Barkley, running back, New York Giants

One youngster garnering attention for his physique is Barkley, whose leg muscles have muscles of their own. The Giants expect Barkley’s amazing legs to take their run game to the next level. Barkely was selected second overall — as expected — after recording 1,903 total yards and 21 touchdowns in his final season at Penn State. Who is ready to hit the gym for their own “leg day” workout now?

Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina Panthers

Newton is never afraid to make bold and physical plays when he sees fit. At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Super Cam can run with the best of them. He has averaged a stealthy 5.2 yards per carry and nearly 40 rushing yards per game since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2011. His body does take a beating, but Newton still finds crafty ways to defy defenders, front-flipping into the end zone, much to his coach’s dismay.

DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, Houston Texans

Hopkins is another guy who makes magic in the end zone. Over the course of his five years playing in Houston, Hopkins has tallied 5,865 yards and 36 touchdowns catching from a vast myriad of Texans quarterbacks. The 6-foot-1 receiver, who weighs in at 215 pounds, draws and evades double-coverage as if he was playing football with children. Next, Hopkins will attempt to build on his league-high 13 touchdowns teaming up with a healthy Deshaun Watson.

Von Miller, linebacker, Denver Broncos

Miller keeps his fans in awe each season with his agility and speed to rush the passer every chance he gets. He is a physical freak at times and continues to produce at an extreme level after playing seven seasons with the Broncos. During his career tenure, this Super Bowl 50 MVP has recorded 402 combined tackles, 83.5 sacks and 22 forced fumbles. He is easily considered an elite at his position, starting out as a second-overall draft pick from 2011.

Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Dallas Cowboys

Elliott devotes time to his physical well being and it totally shows. If a defender is in the way, Elliott takes to looking like a superhero in simply jump over his obstacle. He will look to get back on course this season after missing six games to suspension in 2017. Elusive on his feet, Elliott’s defenders have allowed him to average 4.6 yards per carry thus far. He’s also averaging nearly 105 rushing yards per game throughout his two-year career.

Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, New York Giants

One NFL player who works adamantly at keeping his level of performance high is OBJ. Beckham posts some pretty tremendous workout videos that show his dedication to keeping strong. When healthy, Beckham is an animal, having averaged 94.1 yards per game over his four seasons in the league. During this stretch, Beckham has found the end zone 38 times with one-handed catches not being a rarity.

Khalil Mack, defensive end, Oakland Raiders

This two-time All-Pro pass rusher, who measures in at 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds, sports 40.5 career sacks and 303 combined tackles. He was selected fifth overall in 2014, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2016. One of the strongest at his position, and a staple on the Raiders’ defense, Mack is due a grand contract extension. As such, the Raiders would be silly not to secure this defensive dynamo for years to come.

Rob Gronkowski, tight end, New England Patriots

Courtesy of USA Today Images

This list would not be complete without a tight end in Gronkowski who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs in at 265 pounds. Gronk is an athletic force that opposing defenses simply have no answer for. Even in double and triple coverage, Gronkowski finds ways to break free and score those touchdowns Patriots fans love. This year will mark Gronkowski’s ninth year in the league. He has averaged 70.4 yards per game and scored 76 times.

Jalen Ramsey, defensive back, Jacksonville Jaguars

Ramsey is making quite the name for himself after just two seasons. The 23-year-old defensive back is all grit and is not afraid one bit to mix it up on the field. He’s a true lock-down cornerback. The Jags selected their 6-foot-2 cover corner fifth overall in 2016. Since, Ramsey has yet to miss a game, and has recorded six interceptions, one touchdown, 31 defended passes and 128 total tackles.

Todd Gurley, running back, Los Angeles Rams

On the other side of the field, is last season’s Offensive Player of the Year. Gurley is an absolute machine and there is not much that slows this 6-foot-1, 227-pound running back down. We watched pure speed and muscle in action when Gurley racked up a league-high 2,093 total yards and 19 touchdowns in 2017. Obviously, he trains hard to make plays such these.

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals


Fitzgerald maintains a body that still plays as if he’s in his 20s. It was not long ago that Fitz posed for ESPN’s body issue which displayed exactly how chiseled he is. Not only is this future Hall of Famer strong, he is speedy and an expert route runner. It is no wonder Fitzgerald is the Cardinals all-time receiving leader with 1,234 receptions, 15,545 yards and 110 touchdowns. This year marks Fitzgerald’s 15th since the Cards chose him third overall in 2004.

Cameron Jordan, defensive end, New Orleans Saints

Perhaps underrated on a Saints defense that finally showed up last season, Jordan is an elite at his position. The 6-foot-4, 287-pound pass rusher has yet to miss a game since being drafted 24th overall in 2011. He just finished last season with a personal-best 13 sacks and has recorded 360 combined career tackles. Only 28 years old, look for this sack-master to keep dishing out plenty of havoc in the direction of opposing quarterbacks.