When we look back on the history of the NFL, we can find that the whole game was ruled by gigantic and swift American players, especially of African-American heritage. However, with time, the NFL started having players from different races, including Asians.
These few Asian players became part of the NFL and even made a name for themselves.
Here, we will be sharing about a few of the best NFL players of Asian heritage who made it big in the NFL.
Eugene Chung (Korean Descent)
The first name on the list is the offensive tackle of Korean descent, Eugene Chung. Chung played actively in the NFL for six straight seasons for four different teams.
While on the field, he was a force that everyone recognized and the opposition team feared.
He started his career at the 1992 NFL Draft with the New England Patriots. Chung was the first-ever NFL player with Korean heritage who got chosen in the first round.
He also became the third Asian NFL player to be part of the pro league. The 6’4″ giant retired from the field in 1997 but continued his passion for the game as a coach.
Hines Ward (Korean Mother) – Best Asian NFL Player
Another name on the list is Hines Ward, who played wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Like Chung, Ward is also of Korean descent.
He was born in Korea when his African-American father, who got deployed there, fell in love and married his mother.
Later, he came to the USA and became one of the best Asian NFL players.
Ward retired from his NFL career in 2011 with many achievements to his name. He aided his team to win the Super Bowl two times and the Pro Bowl Championship four times when he was still active.
He also won a place in the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Honor.
Johnnie Morton (Japanese Mother)
While talking about NFL stars with Asian heritage, Johnnie Morton also makes it on the list. He has received Asian genes from his Japanese mother.
Morton started his career in the 1994 NFL Draft after the Detroit Lions picked him up during the very first round. He played for the Lions for eight seasons as its wide receiver before moving to Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
Morton was one of the best Asian players in the NFL and was the All-American player in 1993. He also won the Pop Warner Trophy before retiring in 2005.
Dat Nguyen(Born in Vietnam)
Dat Tan Nguyen is also one of the NFL players of Asian descent and has made a name for himself in the NFL.
Nguyen was born in Vietnam but later moved to the USA.
He was already a star linebacker since his college days.
Nguyen brought his magic to the NFL after the Dallas Cowboys drafted him during the 1999 NFL Draft.
He is the first-ever Vietnamese American who got selected to play in the NFL and the first to be part of the All-Pro.
Roman Gabriel (Belongs to a Filipino Immigrant Family)
The list also includes the strong quarterback Roman Gabriel. Gabriel was born in an economically challenged Filipino immigrant family but made his way into a better life through football.
He played football since high school and started his professional career after getting drafted by Philadelphia Eagles in the 1962 NFL Draft. He soon became one of the star NFL players.
During his sixteen-year-long career, Gabriel won several awards. He was named as NFL Most Valuable Player and even won the Pro Bowl four times.
Gabriel ended his glorious career in 1977, only to start a new career as a coach.
Kyler Murray (South Korean Grandmother)
The third-generation Korean American Kyler Murray is also one of the best Asian NFL players. He got his Korean heritage from his maternal grandmother, a South Korean woman.
The quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals started his professional career in the 2019 NFL draft. It has just been four years, and he has already made a name for himself in the NFL. The NFL named him the Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season.
Even before his professional career, he was already an established player with many achievements on his bag. So, people have high hopes for him, and he is not letting them down.
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Teddy Bruschi (Born to Filipino Mother)
Another name on the list is Teddy Bruschi, who had thirteen years of a glorious career as a linebacker for the New England Patriots.
Though Bruschi was born in San Francisco in an Italian family, he also has received his Asian heritage from his Filipino mother.
He started his career at a very young age while still in high school. Bruschi was already a star athlete from his high school. He turned pro in 1996 and made a name for himself in the world of the NFL.
During his time with the Patriots, his team won the Super Bowl Championship three times.
Bruschi also won several awards like the Morris Trophy, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, etc. He retired as an NFL star after the 2008 season.
Even after retiring, he remained connected to the game as an analyst and a coach.
Brandon Chillar (Indian American Descent)
The last player on the list who has established himself as one of the best Asian NFL players is Brandon Chillar.
Chillar is an NFL star of Indian American descent who has already retired.
During his days in the NFL, he initially played as a linebacker for the St. Louis Rams and then moved to Green Bay Packers.
The fans of Chillar still remember him for the victory during the Super Bowl XLV. He started his career in 2004 with the Rams and ended after playing his last season in 2010.
The list only included a few of the players with Asian heritage who have made it big in the NFL, but there are many other players. These Asian NFL players have broken the stereotypes of the game and have brought more diversity to the game.
And even the NFL and its fans have welcomed these players with great enthusiasm. This warm welcome has also encouraged many other players from different ethnicities and races to dream about being part of the NFL.
So, now you know about the popular Asian NFL players, but can you name the Mexican ones?