The 20 Biggest Athletes in Professional Sports

Sep 25, 2013 -- 12:22pm

While skill is the first and foremost requirement for professional athletes, size is always a plus. You may be able to run like a jackrabbit, but if you’re only 5’5’’ and 120 lbs., then your NFL future looks pretty bleak. For some, they’re able to combine powerful size with top-notch skill to become the best athletes in the world. Here’s a list of the 20 biggest, brawniest and beefiest professional athletes, taken from’s Amber Lee article. The “Net Size” is based on a mathematical formula that takes into account the athlete’s height and weight.


20. Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets

Height: 6'11"

Weight: 265

Net Size: 87.5

Rockets center Dwight Howard may not be one of the more intimidating personalities in the NBA, but he is certainly imposing by his physical presence alone. That being said, he's got five inches and 50 pounds on former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, yet he looks like a little boy standing next to him.


19. Glen Davis, Orlando Magic

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Height: 6'9"

Weight: 289

Net Size: 89.5

Magic power forward Glen Davis' nickname is "Big Baby," emphasis on the "big." He was named the SEC Player of the Year in 2006 and selected by the SuperSonics in the second round of the NBA draft in 2007.


18. Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Height: 6'10"

Weight: 289

Net Size: 94.5

Quite conspicuously holding the coveted title of "NBA Big Man," center Al Jefferson signed a three-year deal with the struggling Bobcats in July.


17. Shaun Rogers, New York Giants

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 350

Net Size: 95

The best NFL defensive tackles pair big, nearly immovable bodies with athletic ability belying the mass they're asked to move around a football field—Giants defensive tackle Shaun Rodgers has spent 13 years doing just that.


16. Marcus Cannon, New England Patriots

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 340

Net Size: 95

It's a good thing Marcus Cannon is such a beast, because the Patriots are going to need all the help they can get in this season of transition. A few more injuries and this guy might be catching passes from Tom Brady.


15. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Height: 7'1"

Weight: 265

Net Size: 97.5

Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is just a shade bigger than older brother Pau, who plays for the Lakers. Must be something in those Gasol genes…apparently their boys only come in sizes "Large" and "Larger."


14. Kellen Heard, NFL Free Agent

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Height: 6'6"

Weight: 341

Net Size: 100.5

Free-agent nose tackle Kellen Heard has struggled to stay on an NFL roster since first being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis by the Raiders in 2010. He has since had stints with the Bills, Rams and Colts.


13. Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavaliers

Height: 7'0"

Weight: 285

Net Size: 102.5

Newly signed Cavaliers big man Andrew Bynum is so lanky looking and has such fragile knees that I was actually surprised to learn he tips the scales at nearly 300 pounds. He certainly carries it well. As far as I could tell, this makes Bynum the third-largest active player in the NBA…or darn near.


12. Hasheem Thabeet, Oklahoma City Thunder

Height: 7'3"

Weight: 263

Net Size: 106.5

Hasheem Thabeet is one of countless players in the NBA chosen ridiculously high in the draft because he is ridiculously tall. Assuming someone is going to be great professional basketball player because he's tall is a stereotype costing NBA teams millions of dollars each year. Thabeet lasted less than two seasons with the Grizzlies before being traded to the Rockets…and then the Trail Blazers…and then he signed with the Thunder in 2012.


11. Michael Jasper, NFL Free Agent

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 375

Net Size: 107.5

Free-agent lineman Michael Jasper was drafted by the Bills out of Bethel in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft. If there's anything such as too big in the league, this guy is it. Jasper spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad before being activated in late December. He was released by the Bills the following summer and has since been dumped by the Titans, Omaha Nighthawks and Giants.


10. Eddy Curry, Zhejiang Golden Bulls

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Height: 7'0"

Weight: 295

Net Size: 107.5

Believe it or not, before Eddy Curry's epic 100-pound weight loss in 2011, his overall size (157 net size) would've put him somewhere between the second and third athletes on this list. Which will be pretty freaking epic once you see who those guys are. Curry's current size is much better for his career—not to mention his health.


9. Leonard Davis, NFL Free Agent

NFL Photos/Getty Images

Height: 6'6"

Weight: 355

Net Size: 107.5

For a man of his impressive girth, free-agent guard Leonard Davis had a very impressive career in the NFL. Drafted by the Cardinals No. 2 overall in 2001, the three-time Pro Bowler played last season with the Super Bowl runner-up 49ers. An even more positive spin would be calling the Niners the "NFC Champions," which Davis' Wikipedia page does.


8. Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Height: 7'2"

Weight: 280

Net Size: 110

Roy Hibbert, the 26-year-old Pacers center, has always been a sizable presence on the court. But look for him to be even more sizable this upcoming season, having spent the offseason training with ageless (giant) wonder Tim Duncan.


7. King Dunlap, San Diego Chargers

Height: 6'9"

Weight: 330

Net Size: 110

King Dunlap is the rather giant offensive tackle currently tasked with protecting the blind side of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Having played his first five years with the Eagles, Dunlap became an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and signed a two-year deal with San Diego.


6. Phil Loadholt, Minnesota Vikings

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Height: 6'8"

Weight: 343

Net Size: 111.5

Vikings offensive tackle Phil Loadholt is positively massive, exactly the kind of guy you want blocking for MVP running back Adrian Peterson. An unrestricted free agent this past offseason, Peterson's public support had to have played a significant role in the decision to re-sign him.


5. Bryant McKinnie, Baltimore Ravens

Height: 6'8"

Weight: 352

Net Size: 116

Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie may be one of the largest players in the NFL, but that doesn't mean he's "fat or sloppy." So says McKinnie, who recently expressed his displeasure with the constant barrage of criticism he faces for how much he weighs.


4. T.J. Barnes, Jacksonville Jaguars

Height: 6'7"

Weight: 364

Net Size: 117

Former Georgia Tech defensive tackle T.J. Barnes is a rookie who struggled a bit through training camp but ultimately made the final roster for the Jaguars.


3. Terrell Brown, NFL Free Agent

Height: 6'10"

Weight: 403

Net Size: 151.5

During this past offseason the Rams signed undrafted free agent Terrell Brown out of Ole Miss because coach Jeff Fisher said they were trying to "add size" to their offensive line. Well the added size was short-lived, as Brown was waived following an injury in July.


2. The Big Show, WWE

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Height: 7'0"

Weight: 425

Net Size: 172.5

They don't call him the Big Show for nothing. The WWE superstar's name isn't an ironic nickname like "Little Kevin" (God rest his soul) from The Wire, who was called little but was actually quite large. The Big Show is, in fact, quite big.


1. Emanuel "Little" Yarbrough, Sumo Wrestler


Height: 6'8"

Weight: 600

Net Size: 240

Obviously this whole list would've been occupied by sumo wrestlers if we'd gone that direction—thankfully we didn't. One is enough when you've got Emmanuel Yarborough, the Guinness World Record holder for the largest athlete. Keep in mind—this is him after losing 100 pounds.






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