The Most Intimidating Players in the NFL Today

The National Football League is chock-full of some of the most intimidating human beings on the planet. And while most NFL players could come across as intimidating to the average American, only a select few have the ability to intimidate their peers and opposing coaching staffs around the league. Here we show you the 10 most intimidating players in the NFL today.

 1. Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (#72) during a Super Bowl XLIX press conference.

Michael Bennett is a force. | Elsa/Getty Images

It’s truly hard to fathom that Bennett entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. The former Texas A&M standout has developed into one of the premier defensive ends in the league, and the Seahawks likely wouldn’t have won Super Bowl XLVIII without his contributions to their historically dominant defense.

The 6-foot-4, 274-pounder is a physical specimen. The attitude and swagger he plays with are game-changing attributes that help make the Seahawks one of the most feared defensive teams in the game.

2. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 29: Ndamukong Suh #93 of the Miami Dolphins looks on during a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Ndamukong Suh is dominant. | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Since entering the league in 2010, Suh has a well-earned reputation for being one of the nastiest players in the NFL. The six-time All-Pro is likely a future Hall of Famer, and his playing style should serve as a model for young interior defensive linemen. At the same time, some of his antics on the field have taken away from his dominance as a player.

While Suh is one of the most dominant defensive tackles in recent NFL history, the former Nebraska Cornhusker is widely regarded as one of the dirtiest players of all time as well. With that being the case, Suh inclusion on this list of most intimidating players in the NFL should come as no surprise.

3. James Harrison, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 30: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is introduced prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Heinz Field on November 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

James Harrison is the definition of intensity. | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Harrison may be 39 years old, but opponents still think the former undrafted free agent is one of the most intimidating players in the league. A near perfect embodiment of what an “old school” NFL linebacker should look and act like, the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year will likely join the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day. Simply put: Harrison’s intensity and attitude are legendary.

In a vote among NFL players in 2012 on who was the most violent and dangerous player in the league, Harrison garnered 67.5% of the votes from his peers around the league.

4. Tyron Smith, LT, Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 13: Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Tyron Smith is a physical specimen. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Smith may be the most physically imposing player in the NFL today. The four-time All-Pro measures in at 6-foot-5 and 320-pounds, yet he still has a chiseled physique that makes him look more like a tight end than an offensive lineman. Bottom line: Smith is an absolute freak of nature and one of the best offensive tackles in the league.

5. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 29: J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans reatcs after making a defensive play against the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter on November 29, 2015 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

J.J. Watt is a beast. | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

When healthy, Watt looks like a man amongst boys on the field. And when you truly think about that, it’s nothing short of amazing.

The future Hall of Famer regularly makes some of the best offensive linemen in the league look silly and massively physically inferior. Not only is Watt intimidating to opposing offensive players, he is also a nightmare for opposing coaches to gameplan against.

Looking forward, if Watt is able to recapture the form that led to him winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2012, 2014, and 2015, the Texans are going to be incredibly hard to beat.

6. Kam Chancellor, S, Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18: Strong safety Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts in the 2015 NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on January 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 28-22 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kam Chancellor strikes fear into opposing wide receivers. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When it comes down to it, Chancellor is just a good, old-fashioned defensive enforcer. At 6-foot-3, 225-pounds, the two-time All-Pro looks more like a linebacker than a safety. A key component to the Seahawks’ vaunted “Legion of Boom” secondary, he’s helped revolutionize the strong safety position in the NFL.

Additionally, Chancellor’s play and reputation has resulted in opposing wide receivers almost always thinking twice about going over the middle against the Seahawks.

7. Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (#59) makes a pre-snap read during a game in 2015.

Luke Kuechly is a throwback. | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kuechly is the prototypical NFL inside linebacker. Not only is he an outstanding player and likely on his way to eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is also the type of player that has an intimidating presence.

This kind of goes without saying, but opposing offenses have to know where Kuechly is lined up on every play. And in our eyes, that can be extremely intimidating.

8. Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Super Bowl MVP Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Broncos defeated the Panthers 24-10. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Von Miller makes life miserable for opposing offenses. | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Miller may not be as physically imposing as others, but he still just might be the most intimidating defensive player in the NFL today. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder has wide receiver-caliber speed, and is widely regarded as the best pass rusher and most disruptive defensive player in the league right now. His first step and ability to bend around the edge make life miserable for opposing offensive linemen, and he almost single-handedly carried the Broncos to the Super Bowl 50 title.

In our eyes, the fact that Miller requires just as much if not more attention from opposing offenses than any other player in the league makes him incredibly intimidating.

9. Joe Thomas, LT, Cleveland Browns

Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns rests between plays during a game in 2015.

Joe Thomas is one of the best left tackles of all time. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The fact that Thomas has had to toil in obscurity for the bulk of his career is a shame. The nine-time All-Pro could end up being a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he has yet to play in a postseason game and he likely won’t anytime soon (unless the Browns trade him).

When it comes to the intimidation factor, there are very few players in Thomas’ class. The former Wisconsin Badger has proven to have the ability to virtually eliminate the impact of some of the game’s best defensive linemen and edge defenders, and he is undoubtedly one of the toughest players in the league (he has yet to miss a game in his 10-year career).

10. Aqib Talib, CB, Denver Broncos

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13: Aqib Talib #21 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Aqib Talib can back up his mouth. | Harry How/Getty Images

Is Talib among the most physically intimidating players in the league? No. Does he qualify as a defensive enforcer? No. So, why did he make our list? When it comes to getting into an opponent’s head and mentally intimidating his competition, Talib is nearly unmatched.

Don’t be fooled, though. Talib is far more than just another mouthy cornerback. The two-time All-Pro almost always backs up his trash talk and has shut down some of the game’s best wide receivers.

Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference