In order to get to the NFL, a ton of things need to go right for a person. Not only do you need to put in the hard work and hone your craft, you need to be physically and genetically gifted as well. While some players can make it with less than ideal genes, being a physical freak definitely helps. With that in mind, here are five of the biggest physical freaks in NFL history.
1. Julius Peppers
Julius Peppers is without a doubt one of the best pure athletes to ever strap on a pair of pads in the NFL. Before ever being an NFL player, Peppers excelled at pretty every sport he played and was even recruited by Duke to play basketball, but the 6’7, near 300 pound man chose football instead. If you need any evidence as to what kind of freak this guy is, as a high schooler, he was able to bench press 425 lbs, run a 4.5 40 and had a vertical leap of 37.5 inches. He also managed to do all of this at 6’5 and 225 lbs with around 4 percent body fat.
2. Adrian Peterson
You just have to take one look at the guy and you immediately know he is a freak. In college he was a star and those skills have translated to him being the best running back in the NFL over the past few years. On top of his great play, his physical measurable make him a freak. He is 6’1, 217 lbs and a perfect mix of speed, power and finesse. He can run the 40 in under 4.4 seconds, has a 38 inch vertical and can squat well over 500 pounds. The fact he was also able to return from a devastating knee injurt in under a year and win the rushing crown once again is nothing short of amazing.
3. Vernon Davis
Now this guy straight up looks like a bodybuilder or a super hero. Davis has the physique every guy wants and was actually a pretty good football player to boot. While he has tapered off a little bit as he has gotten older, he was the best tight end in the league for multiple seasons. As a tight end, he ran a 4.38 40, benched 225 lbs 33 times and had a huge 42 inch vertical.
4. Vernon Gholston
While all the other players on this list have gone on to have pretty great careers, Gholston is the cautionary tale that shows people that being a great athlete and physical freak doesn’t make you a great football player. While his NFL career was a huge bust, there is no arguing the fact he is a freak athlete. The Defensive End was 6’3, 260 lbs and still managed to run a sub 4.7 40, have a 35.5 inch vertical jump and bench pressed 225 lbs a whopping 37 times.
5. Randy Moss
Randy Moss might have just had the absolute most natural talent of anyone who has ever played in the NFL. There is argument by a lot of people that if he had a good work ethic, he would have been better than Jerry Rice. Even without the good work ethic, Moss is still an easy choice as one of the top 5 wide receivers in NFL history. Not only was Randy Moss 6’4 and 210 lbs, but he also managed to run the 40 yard dash in 4.25 seconds which is one of the fastest of all time and his vertical jump is said to be one of the highest in the history of the NFL.