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Fittest NFL Players

In a sport filled with genetic freaks, these five NFL standouts are the top physical specimens on the gridiron.

Any guy who's ever thrown out his back while playing two-hand touch knows that football is a tough sport. Both physically and mentally harrowing, the NFL chews up and spits out the majority of the country's best athletes in a little less than four seasons. But there are a select few men who were genetically engineered to play the game of football. Focusing on athleticism as well as aesthetic, MF counts down the NFL's five fittest current players.

Vernon Davis
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 250 pounds
Position: Tight end

Vernon Davis can run a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. He can squat nearly 700 pounds. His vertical leap has been measured at 42 inches high. To put it quite simply, the 6'3", 250-pound tight end is superhuman. Blessed with the kind of genetics usually only seen in the pages of X-Men comics, the San Francisco 49er credits his out-of-this-world athleticism to a mix of God-given gifts and a tireless diet and exercise routine. But for "The Duke," these regiments are nothing out of the ordinary—just the kind of high protein, low-carb foods and strength-building workouts MF has stressed for years. These basics may not get you a physique like Vernon Davis, but it's a step in the right direction.


Adrian Peterson
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 217 pounds
Position: Running back

Adrian Peterson didn't get a nickname like "All Day" by putting in a 9-to-5 effort. Tireless both in the gym and on the field, the Minnesota Vikings' standout has been one step ahead of the competition since his days in peewee football. Now a four-time Pro Bowler, Peterson owes much of his success to endless hours spent in the gym, specifically his grueling leg routines. Targeting his calves, quads and hamstrings with a series of single-leg squats, full squats and lunges, the 2007 Offensive Rookie of the Year punishes himself in the weight room in order to achieve his blistering speed on the field. This intensity isn't bottled up for game day, though. In a 2007 interview with MF, the running back admitted to going full throttle at every practice. No wonder they call him "All Day."


Terrell Owens
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 230 pounds
Position: Wide receiver

Thanks to the constant media outbursts, end zone theatrics and that regrettable VH1 reality show, Terrell Owens makes it easy to forget that he works out more than just his mouth. But let's put the controversies aside for a second and look at the facts—the six-time Pro Bowler isn't only one of the most gifted NFL players of the past decade, but a true physical specimen (check out his August 2005 MF cover for a quick reminder). T.O.'s shredded frame is so revered that the Cincinnati Bengal has authored a book on the subject and promotes his own line of resistance bands. Owens has credited these bands with giving him his physique, but we're not buying that sales pitch. In truth, the 37-year-old religiously follows a high-protein diet and a grueling five-day-a-week gym schedule.


Maurice Jones-Drew
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 210 pounds
Position: Running back

If you're going to be the shortest guy on a field of giants, you better be tough. For the 5'7" Maurice Jones-Drew, this isn't a problem. Built like a pit bull with the tenacity to match, the Oakland native credits much of his on-field explosiveness to core-building exercises like Swiss ball pushups and BOSU ball squats. These grueling exercises not only prepare the running back's body for the brutal physicality of the gridiron, but also lend an added power to his running game. For proof, check out this YouTube clip of Jones-Drew uprooting Shawne Merriman and be thankful you weren't on the receiving end of that hit.


Anquan Boldin
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 217 pounds
Position: Wide receiver

The explosive Anquan Boldin prides himself on maintaining an outstanding physique through all-natural approaches. Eschewing supplements and even avoiding sports drinks because of the sugar content, the Baltimore Raven focuses on healthy diet basics like grilled chicken and creates his own energy drink by mixing electrolyte pills with water. The wide receiver is also a true gym rat, spending upwards of two hours on cardio and weight training four days a week. Like Adrian Peterson, Boldin credits much of his intensity to a strict regiment of squats and lunges, which help him absorb smashmouth hits from 350-pound linemen. Clearly, it's paying off as the 30-year-old just completed his eighth season in the NFL.


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