NFL (National Football League) is an American game, but in the ’80s and ’90s, some Asian football players entertained the audience with their game. But over the years, we haven’t seen any Asian players who have entertained spectators.
We notice that there are many Asians who are playing really well in other American games with a good reputation. But we don’t see such great Asian players in NFL. For this reason, the question that may come to your mind is, are there any Asian NFL players?
You may not have seen such an excellent Asian footballer in the last few years. However, many Asian players in the ’90s entertained the fans and still everyone remembers them.
Top 10 Best Asian NFL Players List
10. Will Demps
Demps was a former Half American Korean footballer. He started his NFL career in 2002 with the Ravens. He later played for the Texans and the Giants. But he was unsold in 2002 and was later signed by Ravens. Demps was with the Ravens until 2005.
Demps had 418 tackles, six interceptions, and 4.5 tackles in his NFL career. He has also won the MWC Award twice for the first time.
9. Ben Leber
Ben Laber was a semi-Korean NFL Asian player. He started his NFL journey in 2002 with the San Diego Chargers. Then later played with the Vikings. He has played 498 tackles, five interceptions, and 24 Sacks in his football career.
Ben began his football journey as a junior and joined many high schools All American teams. At the next college level, he changed his playing position as a linebacker.
8. Eugene Chung
Eugene Chung played actively as an offensive tackle from 1992 to 2000. During these six long years, he played for four different teams. He was also a member of the practice round with two other teams.
He was drafted in the 1992 NFL for Patriots. Eugene Chung may or may not have been as brilliant as a player, but he had a lot of success as a coach. His success came with the Eagles, where he was an asst. offensive line. Chung was an assistant offensive line coach for the Chiefs. His contract with the Eagles ended in 2019. He has not joined any team since then
7. Brandon Chillar
Chiller was the second Indian-American NFL player. Sanjay Beach was the first NFL player to start this journey.
In 2004, St. Louis Rams gave Chiller a chance in the team. Chiller later played for the Packers. Chiller’s NFL career lasted only six years. In these six years of his career, he won the Super Bowl, which was the most significant achievement of Chiller’s career.
He joined the Indian Elite Football League as an advisor. Chiller has made 327 tackles, 7.5 Sacks, and six forced fumbles in his NFL career in just six years. But he was at his best for the Packers in his NFL career.
Where he played a total of 34 matches and brought 32 stars, he left his NFL career in 2011 and later joined the Indian Elite Football League as an advisor.
6. Johnnie Morton
Another legendary Asian footballer was Johnnie Morton. Unfortunately, none of the teams he has played for in his 11 years in the NFL has ever won a title.
Although Morton always gave his best for the team. Morton drafted for the Detroit Lions; he also played for the Chiefs and the 49ers. Moreover, he had another brief career, where he was an MMA fighter.
He played as a wide receiver in his NFL career. Of the total 8719 receiving yards, Morton’s receptions were 624. Moreover, he had 43 receiving touchdowns.
5. Dat Nguyen
Dat Nguyen was the first Vietnam-American Asian player to participate in the NFL. He was known as an All-Pro NFL player. He played for the Cowboys for almost six long years.
The Cowboys drafted him to their team in 1999. He also played a total of 90 games in his NFL career. Where he had seven interceptions, 516 tackles, quarterback sacks 6.0.
However, his NFL career was not long, as he retired from football in a short time. When he had a charismatic college football career, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
4. Tedy Bruschi
Bruschi was one of the best Asian NFL players who was a Filipino American. He was a three-time Super Bowl winner with a Pro Bowl. He began his professional NFL career in 1997 with the New England Patriots.
However, he played a total of 189 games for the Patriots until his retirement. Where he was on the roster 139 times, he also completed a total of 1110 tackles, 12 interceptions, and 3.5 sacks.
Teddy also had great success in college football. As a result, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013. Moreover, Teddy Bruce holds a unique record.
He is the only player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns. Teddy Bruce is considered one of the best Asian NFL players for his outstanding performances over 13 long years. He retired from football in 2009.
3. Roman Gabriel
The first Filipino-American quarterback was Roman Gabriel. The Los Angeles Rams selected him in the 1982 NFL Draft. From 1960 to 1970, he considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
Gabriel played 11 years for the Rams and five years for the Eagles in his NFL career. Despite numerous achievements and prizes, which included (4 pro bowl titles), Gabriel was not lucky enough to receive the Super Bowl.
However, he later became an MVP in 1989 and won the NFL Return Player of the Year award. Raman was the only quarterback at the time to have a reputation for gaining the lowest interception percentage. After 17 long years of incredible success of this Asian player, he finally retired in 1986. Roman Gabriel later took over as a coach.
2. Hines Ward
Hines Ward was one of the South Korean Asian NFL player. Who was first selected for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1998 NFL Draft. Ward played all of his football journeys for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Became the all-time leader for the Steelers as a receiver Ward won a total of 2 Super Bowls and four more Pro Balls in his NFL career.
He won the Super Bowl MVP Award for his outstanding contribution to the Super Bowl XL. Hines Ward’s name was included in the list of the top 11 people who have 1000+ career receptions. So it wouldn’t be wrong if you listed Hines as one of the best NFL players. His NFL journey ended in 2011.
1. John Lee (First Asian player in NFL)
Have you ever wondered which Asian player was the first to play in the NFL? The first Asian player to be drafted in the NFL was John Lee.
John Lee was a Korean player who played for the UCLA Bruins in college football as a placekicker. Lee began his football career with the St. Louis Cardinal team.
Where he twice gained All-American fame. He was later inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
Although he had more success in his career than in the NFL. Even then, Lee played 3 Rose Bowls in 1973, 1974, and 7. He later signed with La Raider in 1986.
Why aren’t there many Asian players in the NFL?
Despite having countless Asians in America, you rarely see their participation in the NFL. Whatever the reason, Asian Americans are underrepresented in football. Out of 28,380 players in the 2015-16 football season, only 115 were Asian.
One of the reasons is that most Asians change their careers after college. Or as it turns out, they can’t go very far, which means they don’t get a chance in the NFL.