Most people understand that NFL players are typically very, very large men.
But until you’re standing on an NFL field or side line, it can be difficult to grasp just how astonishingly large almost everyone on the field is.
And lineman, particularly offensive lineman, are the largest of the large.
But getting to that point isn’t always sure. Sure, some of these guys are just naturally big. Take, for instance, New York Jets tackle Mekhi Becton. Becton was listed at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds coming out off the University of Louisville. After a slew of injuries, but big man ballooned to 400 pounds. But he’s since gotten his weight in check ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
Not everyone is Becton, however. In fact, most NFL offensive linemen aren’t Becton. Many of them are placed on strict diets that necessitate players to take in a certain amount of calories, usually far more than the average human, in order to maintain their playing weight.
So after they step away from football, it’s not uncommon for linemen to drop tons of weight quickly as they continue to work out but alter their diets.
A pair of recent Pro Football Hall of Fame selections, Joe Thomas and Alan Faneca are some of the best examples of this.
But even those two don’t compare to former offensive tackle Russell Okung. Okung played 10 NFL seasons with the Seahawks, Broncos, Chargers and Panthers. He made the Pro Bowl in 2012 with Seattle and 2017 with Los Angeles before retiring in 2020.
Okung’s listed playing weight in 2020 was 310 pounds. Now, however, he looks like an entirely different person.
— OKUNG (@RussellOkung) April 9, 2023
Okung posted a picture of himself on Sunday afternoon and the difference was startling. He didn’t say exactly how much he lost, but we’d hazard a guess that it’s nearly 100 pounds.
It’s an absolutely remarkable transformation and just another sign of the physical tolls football can take on players.