Current NFL players and their secret talents originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
As if it’s not enough to be incredible at football – so much so that you make the big leagues and get paid to do what you love every day.
Yes, that’s right. There are some players in the NFL who specialize in more than just football.
Some of these talents are pretty niche and unique, but the fact is, it’s impressive how these professional athletes can shine in more than one limelight.
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Let’s take a look at some of the most unique secret talents possessed by the cream of the crop of the NFL:
Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata, who is due to report to training camp next week, is way more than an asset on the field. For years we’ve seen Mailata’s talent shine through his singing in the locker room and on the Masked Singer. It’s no surprise he was seen performing a Stevie Wonder classic ahead of pop sensation Ne-Yo at the Dell Music Center on Thursday.
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Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
The 26-year-old running back has accomplished much more than playing college ball at Stanford and being drafted by the Panthers eighth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Similar to Mailata, McCaffrey’s talents also align with music. The Panther’s prodigy is a master of the harmonica and a skilled pianist.
Before Carolina’s Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, McCaffrey showed off his skills by crushing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Piano playing must run in a football player’s blood. Wide receiver and third-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 Tyler Lockett, also shines on the ivory keys. Not only is the superstar quick on his feet, emerging as Russell Wilson’s top WR, but he is also quick with his hands. But it doesn’t stop there – Lockett can also freestyle rap.
Watch Lockett spit bars here.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
The 24-year-old quarterback Murray excels in more than just athletics. He also shines in academics. The first overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft is nothing less than a chess guru. Some say football is a strategic game like chess, and Murray dominates at both. He began playing chess in the fourth grade and even won the chess tournament at Degan Elementary in Lewisville, Texas.
Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders
The 29-year-old Raleigh native is one of the most generous players on the field, giving back to people through foundations like AO1, Light It Up and the Fulton Street Books & Coffee Black History Collection. But it might shock you to know that the quarterback also has a niche hidden talent – hunting. Wentz is an avid hunter who enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his dog Henley.
Quinton Jefferson, Seattle Seahawks
Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson offers more than just his robust demeanor on the turf. The 29-year-old Pennsylvanian revealed one of his secret talents during a “Get to Know” video for the Seattle Seahawks back in 2018. He happens to be a huge Dragon Ball Z fan and even joys himself by sketching cartoons of comic book characters.
Get to know one of the NFL's biggest Renaissance men here.
J.J. Watt, Arizona Cardinals
The 33-year-old defensive end isn’t just one of the most intimidating players the NFL has ever seen. He also is an iceman. Watt was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but he also could have made his way onto the NHL ice. He grew up in Wisconsin and laced his skates at merely three years old, eventually becoming unstoppable by the time he was 13. However, the multisport athlete stuck to football because of the high cost of playing hockey at the time and the demanding schedule.
A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals
Another Arizona superstar shines in talents other than football. But this time, it’s wide receiver A.J. Green and juggling. The University of Georgia alum was selected fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Bengals, but he can throw more than a football. In a 2011 video presented by Gatorade, Green showcased his unique ball-handling skills by juggling tennis balls. Oh, and he also knows how to ride a unicycle. Don’t be surprised if the athlete travels with a circus after he retires from the NFL.
Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
The 32-year-old placekicker has one of the smoothest kicks in the game, but that’s not his only talent. Tucker also has one of the smoothest voices on the field. With the voice of an angel, the Texas alum is actually a remarkable opera singer. And the talent isn’t even closeted! He has performed a plethora of times and was even asked to perform at the Baltimore Symphony and the New York Opera.
Check out Tucker's rendition of "Ave Maria."