Top 10 Best Asian NFL Players of All Time
|Top 10 Best Asian NFL Players Of All Time|
With many Asian-descent NFL players coming and going over the years, these are the ten who stood out.
If you visit an Asian country, you may be interested in the local sports scene. Cricket is very popular in India and neighboring countries, while baseball is gaining popularity in Japan.
In addition, the Asian continent has produced some major sports icons, such as football players for the NFL.
In recent decades, the NFL has become increasingly international, with players from all over the world joining the country's top football teams. There have been very few Asian footballers in recent years. However, there were many Asians in the NFL who are still important to 90s football fans.
We examined NFL history from the beginning and compiled a list of ten former NFL players of Asian descent who excelled in the National Football League.
1. Hines Ward
Ward was born in Seoul, South Korea, to a Korean mother and an African-American father who served in the Army there. He was drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 19989 and spent his entire NFL career with them.
When he retired, he held a number of franchise records, including those for touchdown receptions and receiving yardage. Perhaps the pinnacle of his NFL career came in Super Bowl XL, when he was named MVP after scoring a touchdown to help the Steelers defeat the Seattle Seahawks.
He isn't regarded as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, but he should be among the top 100 all-time. Check out TwinSpires' reference list here.
Ward was one of only a few players in the NFL to have more than 1,000 receptions at the end of his career. He has since moved on to coaching with the New York Jets and has appeared in a number of TV shows and films.
According to recent reports, Ward should be the next former Steeler inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2. Tedy Bruschi
Tedy Bruschi, of Filipino descent, rose to prominence as a standout defensive player at the University of Arizona. He joined the New England Patriots before Tom Brady and Bill Belichick transformed the team into a championship contender.
Bruschi had 1,110 tackles, 12 interceptions, 30.5 sacks, and 11 forced fumbles in his career. Despite suffering a stroke in 2005 that could have ended his career, he was able to return to the field before retiring in 2008. Bruschi, however, suffered a second stroke in July 2019 and is still recovering.
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3. John Lee
He was the first Asian player to play in the National Football League.
Lee is from South Korea, and the Saint Louis Cardinals selected him with the 32nd pick in the 1986 NFL Draft. (not to be confused with the baseball team).
He signed a four-year, $900,000 contract with this team, with a $250,000 signing bonus, and stayed until the 1998 season.
He was then signed by the Raiders, but he was released after missing two of three field goals that season.
While his professional career was only marginally successful, he excelled in college.
This included field goals in the Rose Bowls of 1983, 1984, and 1986.
4. Roman Gabriel
Roman Gabriel was the first Filipino-American quarterback, selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1962 NFL draft. He is regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL from the 1960s to the 1970s. Gabriel spent 11 years with the Rams and 5 years with the Eagles during his career.
Despite numerous awards and accomplishments, including four Pro Bowls, Gabriel was unable to reach the Super Bowl. However, he was named MVP in 1969 and NFL comeback player of the year in 1969. Only Roman has the "lowest interception percentage" of any quarterback from that era. He retired in 1977 and later worked as a coach.
5. Eugene Chung
Chung played as an offensive tackle from 1992 to 2000. During these eight years, he played on four different teams and was a practice round member on two more. He was drafted by the Patriots in 1992.
Eugene Chung was the first Korean-American football player to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft in 1992. In addition, he was the first Asian-American selected in the first round since 1962. He played in the NFL for five years. He struggled to stay in the rotation for teams after two years as a starter for the New England Patriots. He now works as a football coach.
6. Dat Nguyen
Nguyen was the first Vietnamese-American to play in the NFL and was named All-Pro. He was drafted by the Cowboys in 1999 and spent seven years with them.
He appeared in 90 games, recording 516 tackles, 7 interceptions, and 6.0 quarterback sacks. His NFL career was brief, but he had a charismatic college football career that earned him induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Dat Nguyen was a defensive force for the Texas A&M Aggies for four years. He was an All-American selection in the third round. Unfortunately, Nguyen's career was cut short due to neck and knee injuries. His time with the Cowboys demonstrated that, despite his smaller stature, he had the potential to be a force in the NFL. He is currently attempting to coach.
7. Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals has been a big name in the league since being selected first overall in the 2019 draft. It comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed his football career.
Murray was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner while leading the Oklahoma Sooners to a 12-2 season. As a result, he quickly rose to the top of NFL draft boards, and the Cardinals named him their starting quarterback.
Kyler Muller is ecstatic to be both Korean American and African American. When the Cardinals selected him first overall, he made history by becoming the first player of Asian ancestry to be chosen first overall.
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8. Johnnie Morton
Although Morton had given his all for the teams, they were unable to return the favor. In his 11-year career, no one on his team had ever won a trophy as he had. Morton was drafted by the Detroit Lions, but he also played for the Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. He also had a brief career as an MMA fighter.
He was a wide receiver on the team. Morton had 624 receptions for 8719 yards during his entire career. He also had 43 receiving touchdowns.
9. Brandon Chillar
Chillar is the second Indian-American player in the NFL, following Sanjay Beach. Chillar was picked by St. Louis Rams in 2004, who later played for Packers. Despite the fact that his NFL career lasted only six years, Chillar won a Super Bowl during that time.
Chillar had 327 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles in his brief career. He was at his best with the Packers, where he appeared in 34 games and made 32 starts. He left the NFL in 2011 to become an advisor for the Elite Football League of India.
10. Ben Leber
Leber is a half-Korean footballer who began his career with the San Diego Chargers in 2002 and later joined the Vikings. He had 496 tackles, 24 sacks, and 5 interceptions in his career.
As a junior, Ben began playing football and was named to numerous high school All-America teams. He switched positions as a linebacker at the college level.
Apart from two All-Big 12 selections, he has no notable accomplishments. After searching for interested teams, he retired in 2012.
Asian Americans have made significant contributions to sports in general. They've worked in the NBA, NFL, Olympics, and other international leagues. Asian and Asian American NFL players have risen through the ranks to become some of the sport's best. Asians began playing football in the 1970s, but did not make it to the NFL until the 1980s. We carefully considered all of the Asian players before compiling this list.
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