Best Beards in the NFL in 2020

To celebrate the 2020 NFL season—which we weren’t sure was even going to happen a few months ago—we’re ranking the best beards in the NFL.

Despite their faces being hidden under helmets and behind face masks, the National Football League's biggest stars have shown their ability to influence pop-culture time and time again—whether it’s hair styles or beard styles.

It started with Johnny Unitas, one of the NFL’s earliest stars, influencing a generation of flat-top wearing Quarterbacks in the 1950s.

Then there was Joe Namath’s iconic horseshoe mustache that took the world by storm in 1968. Broadway Joe’s horseshoe was such a big deal that even newspapers in New Mexico talked about it.

A November 1968 story in the Albuquerque Journal ran with the following headline: “Jet-Set Joe Namath Defends Mustaches,” and opened with this sentence, “Joe Namath, a bachelor who deftly sidesteps all the blitzing young ladies, says he’d let his kids grow mustaches if they wanted to.”

As if kids had the choice to just grow a mustache? We’re not making this stuff up, by the way. Joe Namath actually had to defend his mustache because there was fear that kids would be influenced to follow suit and grow mustaches—a very concerning prospect among parents who likely viewed the mustache as a gateway drug to living on a commune.

That same Albuquerque Journal story also incorrectly called Namath’s horseshoe mustache a Fu Manchu, leading us to conclude that the Fu Manchu is the most mislabeled facial hair style in history. If you’re uncertain, you can read about the difference in our Definitive Guide to Mustache Styles.

Anyway, back to the gridiron—football, particularly the NFL, has been the most popular sport in America since surpassing baseball in the 1960s. According to a 2017 Gallup Poll, 37% of Americans ranked football as their favorite sport to watch. And with more athletes experimenting with their facial hair style, there’s never been a better time for a new generation of NFL players to make their mark on pop-culture and beard trends.

With that in mind, we challenged ourselves to put together our 2020 NFL All Facial Hair Team.

Here’s the catch—to simplify things, we tried to build the best fantasy football team possible with only bearded and partially bearded players (meaning we only focussed on quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and kickers). Yes, we know there are many defensive players out there with incredible facial hair—we’re looking at you, Beau Allen.

This was our criteria for ranking the best NFL beards:

  1. An NFL player had to have facial hair at the start of the 2020 season.
  2. They had to be on an NFL roster at the start of the 2020 season.
  3. They had to be relevant enough to warrant being drafted in most fantasy football leagues.

Without further ado, these are our picks for the best beards and mustaches in the NFL in 2020—ranked by facial hair, not on-field talent.

BEST BEARDS AND MUSTACHES IN THE NFL IN 2020

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Quarterback, Miami Dolphins

Ryan Fitzpatrick has the best beard in the NFL.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been the face of bearded football players since he first grew his beard during the 2011 season. Fitzpatrick played for the Buffalo Bills that year and had Buffalo off to a hot 2-0 start, earning the nickname The Amish Rifle. After leading Buffalo to an improbable come-from-behind win over the New England Patriots in week 3, he became known as Fitzmagic. Fitz and the Bills fizzled out that season, and he’s been with a handful of teams since.

Fitzpatrick is currently with the Miami Dolphins, and the 37-year-old can still sling it and can still put up big numbers. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career has been bizarre, but his beard is legendary and worthy of the top spot on our 2020 all facial hair team.

2. Gardner Minshew - Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars

Gardner Minshew's mustache and soul patch combo has vaulted the Jaguars Quarterback into legend territory.

The Jaguars Quarterback burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2019 and instantly garnered national media attention with his 1960’s Joe Namath inspired mustache. Sometimes it’s a chevron mustache, and sometimes it’s a horseshoe and he kind of looks like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite. But either way, Gardner Minshew’s mustache and soul patch combo is a thing of beauty.

Gardner Minshew and Ryan Fitzpatrick traded facial hair barbs before their week 3 matchup. Minshew came up short against Fitzpatrick in that game, and we’ve got him coming up just short in our rankings too. That said, we love Minshew’s style and think he’s a high-upside guy.

3. Odell Beckham Jr. - Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. has one of the most well-groomed beards in the NFL.

OBJ has been making circus catches look easy since his rookie season and, at one time, was one of the most dominant players in the game. He’s still arguably one of the best receivers in the NFL, despite his numbers dropping a bit since being traded to Cleveland.

He may be a polarizing player, but one thing that isn’t debatable is Odell Beckham Jr's beard grooming. Ever since his insane one-handed circus catch against the Giants, we’ve known he had sure hands—but that extends to trimming and maintaining his beard as well. Every hair in Beckham’s beard always looks perfectly in place.

4. Joey Slye - Kicker, Carolina Panthers

Joey Slye in a Carolina Panthers uniform has an epic power beard.

Joey Slye’s orange power beard is impressive. It’s maybe even more impressive than hitting all five field goal attempts during the Panther’s week 3 tilt with the Los Angeles Chargers. Speaking of power—in 2019, Slye set a Carolina Panthers franchise record and led the NFL with eight made field goals longer than 50 yards. Slye is built like a linebacker, and despite being a kicker, his beard is strong enough to land him at number four.

5. Ezekial Elliott - Running Back, Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Running Back Ezekial Elliott with a faded beard and blowing water out of his mouth

Ezekial Elliott is one of the top running backs in the NFL, a perennial top-five five fantasy football pick, and he powers his way into the number five spot on our list. As one of only a few running backs sporting a beard, Zeke’s is similar to his running style—big, strong, and in your face. Ezekiel Elliot also shows off what a slight taper on cheeks can do to a full power beard.

6. Julian Edelman - Wide Receiver, New England Patriots

New England Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman has a gnarly beard.

When Julian Edelman has a beard, it generally means one thing—the Patriots are in the playoffs… again. Edelman typically starts every season with a 5 o’clock shadow and lets it grow for the season's duration. By the time the playoffs roll around in January, the 5’10” Patriots receiver has a thick, gnarly power beard. If we were judging that beard, as pictured above, he might be number one on our list, but we’re basing this on his shorter early-season scruff.

Despite being 34, Edelman doesn’t seem to be slowing down either. In 2019, he put up his best statistical season, with 100 receptions, six touchdowns, and over 1,100 receiving yards.

7. Keenan Allen - Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

Chargers Wide Receiver Keenan Allen is posing in a hat and sunglasses

Keenan Allen has had some semblance of a beard since coming into the league in 2013. But for the past few years, Allen has been going long. In 2020, Keenan Allen’s beard looks like it’s entering yeard territory, and is one of the longer beards we’ve seen in the NFL this season. Allen’s beard often looks unkempt, but yeards are typically challenging to keep in check—just like defenses struggle to keep Allen in check. He’s logged over 300 receptions and 18 TDs over the past three seasons.

8. Raheem Mostert - Running Back, San Francisco 49ers

49ers Running Back Raheem Mostert rocks a scruffy goat beard at a press conference

Raheem Mostert is fast—crazy fast. In week 2, the 49ers running back topped out a smooth 23.1 miles per hour during an 80-yard touchdown run. That was the fastest any player has been clocked in the past five seasons. When in the open field, Mostert can cover a patch of grass in a flash, but he embraces the patches when it comes to his beard. Raheem Mostert’s scruffy goat features a thick circle beard and a bit of patchy scruff on the cheeks.

9. Mike Evans - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Wide Receiver Mike Evans with a short, well-groomed beard.

Mike Evans has a few things going for him—he’s got Tom Brady throwing him the ball, he’s one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and his beard is constantly well-groomed. Whether he’s going short or long, Evans’ beard is as reliable as his hands.

10. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers

Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers with a big mustache and dressed in denim.

We know—this probably seems low for Rodgers. We know what he can do with his facial hair, and it’s hard for us to put him in the 10 spot. If we were talking about Canadaian tuxedo and mustache Aaron Rodgers, as pictured above, he’d easily be in our top five.

But to start the 2020 season, Rodgers is down to just rocking a stubble beard. It still looks good, and Rodgers looks as good as ever on the field, but we’re hoping the Rodgers ‘stache makes a comeback this year.

11. Travis Kelce - Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce has a short circle beard goatee.

Travis Kelce has been and continues to be one of the most dominant Tight Ends in the NFL. He’s always worn a full beard, and a full beard Kelce would be higher on our list, but in 2020 he’s rocking a short circle beard that looks straight out of 1995. We don’t hate it, but we don’t really know what to do with it either. Fortunately for Kelce, there isn’t much facial hair competition amongst tight ends, so he’s still got a spot on our all-facial hair team.

12. Andy Reid - Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid, has a walrus mustache.

Instead of picking a team defense as you would in fantasy football, we’re picking a coach—and Andy Reid is our guy, hands down. Coming off his first Super Bowl win, Andy Reid and his walrus mustache have the Chiefs poised to be the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots in 2003–2004. Kansas City has made the playoffs six times since Reid took over as coach in 2013.

At the time of this writing, Reid has 209 career wins. The only active NFL head coach with more wins? Bill Belichick, who definitely does not have any facial hair. We like Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin here, too, but Reid’s recent championship gives him the upper hand.

Honorable Mention

Steve Belichick - Linebackers Coach, New England Patriots
First of all, we didn’t even know Bill Belichick had children. Well, he has three, and two of them are members of Belicheck’s coaching staff. Steve Belichick, who currently serves as linebackers coach, deserves a spot on our list—not for his beard, but for his mullet. Bill Belichick’s son has a sick mullet—what a time to be alive.

Note: Steve Belichick's mullet is too sick for us to post a photo. Click the link above to view it. You've been warned.

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The Definitive Guide to Goatee Styles
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TL;DR

We put together our 2020 NFL All Facial Hair Team.

Here’s the catch—to simplify things, we tried to build the best fantasy football team possible only featuring players with facial hair (meaning we solely focussed on quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and kickers).

This was our criteria:

  1. An NFL player had to have facial hair at the start of the 2020 season.
  2. They had to be on an NFL roster at the start of the 2020 season.
  3. They had to be relevant enough to warrant being drafted in most fantasy football leagues.

Beardbrand’s ranking for the best beards and mustaches in the NFL:

Best Beards and Mustaches in the NFL
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Quarterback, Miami Dolphins
2. Gardner Minshew - Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Odell Beckham Jr. - Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns
4. Joey Slye - Kicker, Carolina Panthers
5. Ezekiel Elliott - Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
6. Julian Edelman - Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
7. Keenan Allen - Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers
8. Raheem Mostert - Running Back, San Francisco 49ers
9. Mike Evans - Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10. Aaron Rodgers - Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
11. Travis Kelce - Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs
12. Andy Reid - Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs

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