20 of the Best Asian NFL Players of All Time

The National Football League is full of amazing athletes from all across the globe. However, there are some special Asian players who have made their mark on the pro football scene. Here’s a look at some of the best Asian NFL players of all time.

In this article, we will highlight some of the most successful and well-known Asian professional footballer players in the NFL over the years.

Hines Ward

Hines Ward

Hines Ward is a professional football player who is best known for his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he spent 14 of his 13 seasons in the NFL. He was drafted in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft and went on to become a two-time Super Bowl champion and MVP (Super Bowl XL).

Ward holds multiple franchise records, including most receptions and receiving yards, as well as being one of five players to have over 1,000 career receptions.

Throughout his career, Hines has been known for playing physical but fair football, which earned him the nickname “Ironman” from former coach Bill Cowher.

Younghoe Koo

Younghoe Koo

Younghoe Koo is an NFL placekicker currently playing for the Atlanta Falcons. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Koo played college football at Georgia Southern, where he was named the 2017 Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Year.

He is known for his strong leg and accuracy, having made 34 of 38 field goal attempts and 51 of 54 extra points in his first two seasons in the NFL.

Koo has also made several clutch kicks throughout his career, including a game-tying field goal against the Panthers in Week 8 of 2020 and a game-winning field goal against the Lions in Week 15.

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is an NFL quarterback currently playing for the Arizona Cardinals. Born in Bedford, Texas, Murray attended Oklahoma University, where he won the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award in 2018 before being drafted number one overall by Arizona in 2019.

Murray’s athleticism and arm strength have made him a dynamic player, as he has thrown for over 4,200 yards in his first two seasons.

In addition to his passing ability, Murray is also a dangerous runner; he set the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback in 2018, and was named the 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Patrick Chung

Patrick Chung

Patrick Chung is an NFL safety who currently plays for the New England Patriots. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Chung played college football at Oregon before being drafted by the Patriots in 2009.

He has since been part of three Super Bowl winning teams with New England (XLIX, LI and LIII), while making Pro Bowl appearances in 2010 and 2013.

Throughout his career, Chung has been known for being a hard-hitting safety who excels in run support, as well as having the athleticism to play effectively in coverage.

Dat Nguyen

Dat Nguyen

Dat Nguyen is an NFL linebacker and was born in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. He played college football at Texas A&M and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1999.

Nguyen played his seven seasons with the Cowboys, he earned two Pro Bowl berths and set franchise records for single-season tackles and career assisted tackles.

Nguyen’s physical style of play earned him respect throughout the league, but also caused him to suffer 16 concussions during his career. He retired in 2006 due to injury, but still remains active with the Cowboys organization today.

Tedy Bruschi

Tedy Bruschi

Tedy Bruschi is an NFL Linebacker and was born in San Francisco, California. He played college football at UCLA before being drafted by the New England Patriots in 1996.

In his 13 seasons with the Patriots, he helped them to three Super Bowl titles (XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX), while also earning four Pro Bowl berths and winning AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.

Bruschi’s physical style of play earned him respect throughout the league, but also caused him to suffer several injuries during his career. He retired in 2009 due to injury, but still remains active with the Patriots organization today.

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin is an NFL wide receiver who was born in Gulf Breeze, Florida. He played college football at Stanford before being signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2011.

During his eight seasons with the Seahawks, Baldwin helped them to one Super Bowl title (XLVIII), while also becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving touchdowns.

He is known for being versatile, having caught passes from two different quarterbacks in his career, as well as being one of five players to have over 1,000 career receptions. Baldwin retired in 2018 due to injury, but still remains active with the Seahawks organization today.

Scott Fujita

Scott Fujita

Scott Fujita is an NFL Linebacker and was born in Camarillo, California. He played college football at California before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2002.

Fujita professionally played 11 seasons with various teams around the league (Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys), he helped the Saints to one Super Bowl title (XLIV).

Fujita was known for being an intelligent linebacker who had a knack for making big plays when it mattered most. He retired from the NFL after the 2012 season and continues to provide insights as a commentator on ESPN today.

Taylor Rapp

Taylor Rapp

Taylor Rapp is an NFL safety who was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He played college football at Washington before being selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. In his rookie season, Rapp started all 16 games and was part of a Rams team that made it to Super Bowl LVI.

He is known for being a hard-hitting safety who has the athleticism to play effectively in coverage, as well as having excellent tackling technique. Rapp continues to be an integral part of the Rams defense today.

Roman Gabriel

Roman Gabriel

Roman Gabriel is an NFL quarterback and was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. He played college football at NC State before being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1962.

During his 15 seasons with various teams around the league (Rams, Philadelphia Eagles), he earned two Pro Bowl berths and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1969.

Gabriel is one of the first Asian American quarterbacks to have played in the NFL and continues to be a beloved figure within the league today.

Eugene Chung

Eugene Chung

Eugene Chung is an NFL offensive tackle who was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He played college football at Virginia Tech before being drafted by the New England Patriots in 1992.

Chung played nine seasons with various teams around the league (Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles), he earned one Super Bowl championship (LII).

Chung is known for having excellent footwork and technique as a tackle, as well as being able to effectively block defenders on both run and pass plays. He retired from the NFL after the 2000 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

Chris Gocong

Chris Gocong

Chris Gocong is an NFL linebacker who was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He played college football at Cal Poly before being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006.

During his seven seasons with various teams around the league (Eagles, Cleveland Browns), he earned one Pro Bowl berth (2009).

Gocong is known for being a hard-hitting linebacker who can also effectively cover running backs and tight ends in pass coverage. He retired from the NFL after the 2012 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

Kalif Raymond

Kalif Raymond

Kalif Raymond is an NFL wide receiver, punt returner and was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He played college football at Holy Cross before signing with the Detroit Lions in 2016.

Kalif would play four seasons with various teams around the league (Lions, New York Jets), he has established himself as one of the better punt returners in the league.

Raymond is known for having excellent vision and quickness when returning the ball, as well as being an effective receiver in the passing game. He continues to be an integral part of the Lions offense today.

Johnnie Morton

Johnnie Morton

Johnnie Morton is an NFL wide receiver who was born in Torrance, California. He played college football at USC before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.

During his 12 seasons with various teams around the league (49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions), he earned four Pro Bowl berths and one Super Bowl championship (XXIX).

Morton is known for having excellent hands as a receiver and is one of the most productive Asian American players to have played in the NFL. He retired from the NFL after the 2005 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

Haruki Nakamura

Haruki Nakamura

Haruki Nakamura is an NFL safety who was born in Elyria, Ohio. He played college football at Cincinnati before being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2008.

Haruki would play six seasons with various teams around the league (Ravens, Carolina Panthers), he earned one Super Bowl championship (XLVII).

Nakamura is known for his athleticism to play effectively in coverage, as well as having excellent tackling technique. He retired from the NFL after the 2013 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

Eugene Amano

Eugene Amano

Eugene Amano is an NFL center and guard who was born in Manila, Philippines. He played college football at Southeast Missouri State before being drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2004.

During his nine seasons with various teams around the league (Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles), he earned one Pro Bowl berth (2008).

Amano is known for his strength and technique as a lineman, as well as being able to effectively block defenders on both run and pass plays. He retired from the NFL after the 2012 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

Will Demps

Will Demps

Will Demps is an NFL safety who was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He played college football at Virginia before being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2002.

During his seven seasons with various teams around the league (Texans, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants), he earned two Pro Bowl berths (2005 and 2007).

Demps is known for having excellent instincts when playing in coverage and is also one of the most aggressive hitters in the NFL. He retired from the NFL after the 2008 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber

Ben Leber is an NFL outside linebacker who was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He played college football at Kansas State before being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2002.

Throughout his 10 seasons with various teams around the league (Rams, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings), he earned one Pro Bowl berth (2007).

Leber is known for having excellent vision and quickness when pursuing the ball-carrier as well as being an effective pass rusher. He retired from the NFL after the 2011 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

John Lee

John Lee

John Lee is an NFL placekicker who was born in Seoul, South Korea. He played college football at UCLA before signing with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988. In his one season with them, he made 25 out of 31 field goal attempts.

Lee is known for having a strong leg that is capable of kicking field goals from more than 50 yards away. He retired from the NFL after the 1988 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

Chad Morton

Chad Morton

Chad Morton is an NFL running back and return specialist who was born in Torrance, California. He played college football at USC before being drafted by the New York Giants in 2000.

During his seven seasons with various teams around the league (Giants, Washington Redskins, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints), he earned one Pro Bowl berth (2002).

Morton is known for his versatility as a runner and returner, as well as having excellent elusiveness when making cuts on the field. He retired from the NFL after the 2006 season and continues to be involved with the game of football today.

The Greatest Asian NFL Players of All Time

The best Asian NFL players have left lasting impressions on the game of football by consistently demonstrating excellence in their respective positions year after year.

From Joe Kapp and Tommy Kane, to John Lee and Chad Morton, these talented individuals have represented their heritage proudly in a big way while competing against some of the world’s very best athletes.

These players are undoubtedly among some of the greatest that the sport has ever seen.