Like most men on Monday, you probably find the most comfortable seat in your living room and recline into it with your ice cold beer in hand. After all, with Monday comes the always beloved “Monday Night Football.” Watch out ladies, the TV is getting ready to steal your man for a couple hours at the start of each week. Fellas, since we’re still in preseason and the real competition hasn’t kicked off yet, take your focus off the game for just a bit and keep score on the NFL players with the burliest beards.
Here at Zeus Beard, we compiled a list of the best beards we could find in professional football. From Lawrence Guy to Larry Ogunjobi, these NFL players show just as much talent when it comes to their facial hair as they do on the field.
Keep reading to see which NFL players made the list and which recent retirees entered our 2018 Zeus Beard Hall of Fame.
(Photo via Instagram / @ravens)
TEAM : Baltimore Ravens | POSITION : Defensive Back
Starting things out right, Baltimore Ravens defensive back Eric Weddle has a very impressive beard. From length to burliness, his facial hair has it all.
Weddle told “The Baltimore Sun” in 2016 that an old picture of his dad sporting a long beard was his inspiration to grow his own in an attempt to beat him. “That’s how it originated. It kind of grew into this mythical being in itself. I roll with it and it’s pretty awesome. It’s unique,” he said during the interview.
Throughout his career so far, Weddle was called to the Pro-Bowl and honored as All-Pro five times each. When it comes to NFL players, many experts consider Weddle to be one of the top-performing safety’s.
(Photo via Instagram / @thatlguy)
TEAM : New England Patriots | POSITION : Defensive End
Lawrence Guy makes the list for his clean, groomed style. His beard is thick and full without coming across scraggly or unkempt. The New England Patriots defensive end incorporates Zeus products into his routine to lock in moisture and keep his beard looking and feeling soft.
— Lawrence Guy (@thatLGUY) May 12, 2018
However, not all of Guy’s time is spent tackling players and defending against passes on the field or caring for his healthy beard.
Struggling with learning disabilities of his own as a child, Guy speaks to middle, high school and college students about the importance of following the learning goals they set and chasing their education despite the difficulties.
(Photo via Instagram / @eagles_nest11)
TEAM : Philadelphia Eagles | POSITION : Center
Moving along from a Patriot to a player from their Super Bowl rival the Philadelphia Eagles, Jason Kelce leads the team strong with his massive classy caveman style.
ESPN reported in 2013 that Viking warriors played a role in inspiring Kelce’s beard. More specifically, Kelce identifies with the champion Norse warriors called Berserkers, who wore wolf or bear skins and charged fearlessly into battle with an animal-like rage.
Like his beard, Kelce is known for his fighting spirit. It’s not like anyone can forget his call to the underdogs in last year’s Super Bowl Parade speech.
In the past, Kelce rallied fans to grow or photoshop beards of their own on Facebook as part of a “Beard Yourself” campaign. With his gumption, we can’t wait to see the beard inspiration he puts out next.
(Photo via Instagram / @olumide)
TEAM : Cleveland Browns | POSITION : Defensive Tackle
While Larry Ogunjobi sports one of the shorter beards on the list, the style perfectly melds to his face shape and should serve as an inspiration to other NFL players with less facial hair. After all, a short well-groomed beard is far more visually pleasing than an unkempt lengthy mess.
READ MORE: “BEARD GUIDE: How to Trim Your Short Beard“
In the 2017 NFL Draft, experts put Ogunjobi in the top five players for defensive tackle, with ESPN ranking him the highest at third place.
Despite still being a rookie player, Ogunjobi showed he plays consistently strong, and with former Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton heading off to the New England Patriots, it’s Ogunjobi’s prime time to shine.
(Photo via Instagram / @mklz96)
TEAM : Tampa Bay Buccaneers | POSITION : Quarterback
When it comes to NFL players with majestic beards, it just wouldn’t be a proper list without Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The 35-year-old quarterback told Newsday in 2015 that he had trouble growing a beard until age 24 because in the past his facial hair would grow in patchy. Despite his wife and many NFL players hating on his look, the years of effort he’s spent growing his beard persuades him to maintain the longer style.
Like us here at Zeus, not everyone hates his bushy style. Former teammate Willie Colon thinks Fitzpatrick looks better with facial hair than without, according to Newsday. “I think he looks great with it,” Colon said. “The beard kind of gives him character. It gives him a little flair.”
When it comes to playing football, the 13-year veteran has been named Rookie of the Week, Offensive Player of the Month and Offensive Player of the Week multiple times.
In addition, he received the Ed Block Courage Award in 2015, an honor bestowed upon a player whose teammates voted to be a source of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.
2018 NFL Players in the Zeus Beard Hall of Fame
Lastly, it’s time to induct two bearded NFL players into the Zeus Beard Hall of Fame. Both Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Joe Hawley and New York Jets center Nick Mangold announced their retirement in 2018.
Since retiring, Hawley took to traveling the states by van and is embracing a life full of outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. However, Hawley did find time to write a message on his Instagram to the teammates he left on the field.
It’s crazy to think that this is the first time in the last 16 years that I haven’t had to report to training camp. I’ve played a lot of football and I am so grateful for everything it has taught me and for all the opportunities it has provided me. Without football I would not be the man I am today. I feel like I played the game the right way. I always knew if I gave it everything I had from snap to whistle that I could leave it all on the field with no regrets. I sit here today knowing that I gave football everything I had and am blessed to have lived out a little boys dream. I am so incredibly grateful to all the teammates and coaches who had an impact on my life. I wish you all the best of luck as you report to training camps this fall. Remember it doesn’t last forever. So enjoy it!
Meanwhile, Mangold is quietly enjoying his retirement. While there were talks he may become involved in politics now that he is out of the NFL, Mangold laughed away the rumors but said he’d keep the idea open for the future.
He recounted both his positive memories and the feats he overcame in the retirement letter he posted to his Twitter account.
I DECLARE RETIREMENNNTTTTTTT!
I will be signing a one day deal with @nyjets next week so I can retire a Jet.
Thank you to all!
J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets! pic.twitter.com/f7j52ZdIy0
— Nick Mangold (@nickmangold) April 17, 2018
Both NFL players will surely be remembered for their athletic ability and their bushy beards. We can’t wait to see the next rookies to bring new beard styles this season.