There is no question that over time players in the NFL have gotten a lot bigger in size. In fact, according to a Scripps Howard study, the average weight in the NFL has grown at 10% per year since 1985.
In 2011, of the 1,948 active NFL players, the average weight was 247 pounds. There are a total of 426 players that weigh in at or over 300 pounds and a total of 5 players over the 350 pound mark.
1) Michael Jasper OT Bills 375 lbs
Offensive tackle on the Buffalo Bills practice roster, the NFLs biggest player was drafted in 2011 but was one of the final cuts for the starting lineup. If you think 375 lbs is big, Jasper weighed in at 450 lbs during college.
2) Bryant McKinnie OT Ravens 360 lbs
Offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. He started in all 16 games for the Ravens in 2011 and has been in the league for 10 seasons. He was nearly didn't play this season after being cut by the Minnesota Vikings during training camp after coming to camp at 400 lbs - Ed Reed and Ray Lewis vouched for McKinnie and he was signed by the Ravens.
3) Marcus Cannon G Patriots 358 lbs
Guard in his rookie season for the New England Patriots who saw action in 7 games this year. Cannon was the heaviest player ever drafted by the Patriots.
4) Leonard Davis G Lions 355 lbs
Three-time Pro Bowl Guard for the Detroit Lions who was signed during Week 9 of the season after being released by the Cowboys in the pre-season. He spent 4 years with the Cowboys and has been in the league 11 years.
5) Paul Soliai NT Dolphins 355 lbs
Selected in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, Soliai is a franchised tagged player who has combined size and speed. In the 2011 season, Soliai had 27 tackles and 2 passes defend.
And if you were wondering, the lightest player in the NFL weighs only 41% of the weight of Michael Jasper.
Lightest NFL Player:
Brandon Banks WR Redskins 153 lbs
Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins, Brand Banks is by far the lightest player in the NFL. Listed as a WR, he is mainly used on Special Teams and had 1,174 kick returning yards and a 9.1 average yards per punt return.
Want to see the full list of lightest NFL players, including, one player that weighs just 142 lbs - read Who is the Lightest NFL Player?
These are some big men playing the game and just as impressive as their size is their ability to play the NFL game at these sizes.
It's unlikely that the size trend will continue as we'd see the 247 lbs average weight balloon to 640 lbs in 2021. But we will likely still see some movement higher in the average weight.
In the meantime, this kid has been labeled too big to play in the NFL:
More Size Related NFL Articles:
Note: The data in this article looks at only Active players as of the 2012 NFL Season.