Ranking the Best Nicknames in the NFL

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2014

Ranking the Best Nicknames in the NFL

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    By now, you know the majority of your favorite players in the NFL have earned themselves nicknames.

    Whether they earned it in high school, college or even in the pros, the NFL is stuffed full of these monikers.

    Fans use them habitually referring to their favorite players, and those athletes cash in on that popularity.

    Sifting through all of the names, it's time to rank, in order, the 10 best nicknames floating around the National Football League.

    Start the slideshow below, and let's get the ball rolling.

10. Cam Newton: "Ace Boogie"

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    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton may pull his jersey open like Superman on the field, but his nickname around these parts is Ace Boogie.

    The 6'5", dual-threat gunslinger has been a transcendent talent ever since he jumped from Auburn University over to the NFL in 2011.

    In charge of the Panthers' offensive attack, Ace Boogie has been a fantasy football hero as well as a dominant force on the field.

    When you go out and throw for 11,299 yards and 64 touchdowns and run for 28 additional scores in the National Football League, you have the right to call yourself whatever you want.

    Ace Boogie, with his video game-like attributes, lands on this list as the 10th-best nickname in the NFL.

9. Johnny Manziel: "Johnny Football"

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    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    The youngest name on this list belongs to Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

    During the time he spent torching SEC defenses with Texas A&M, Manziel became a folk hero to the people in College Station.

    Manziel was labeled as Johnny Football before he even strapped on an Aggies uniform.

    But it wasn't until he lit up Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide defense and took home the Heisman Trophy in 2012 that Johnny Football became a household name.

    Now a member of the Browns, fans have high hopes that the legend of Johnny Football will pen a new chapter and help turn this team's misfortunes around.

    Even if his playing career flops down the line, the nickname will live on forever.

8. Darren McFadden: "Run DMC"

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    USA TODAY Sports

    When your nickname reflects pioneers of the music industry, people tend to remember you.

    Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden's nickname "Run DMC" has to be one of the coolest in all of professional sports.

    Even though his NFL career has been littered with a rich injury history and what ifs, as a fan of music and culture, you still have to appreciate the Silver and Black tailback from that vantage point.

7. Darrelle Revis: "Revis Island"

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Cornerbacks in today's NFL have a monumental task on their plates each time they go out and line up on the field.

    The league's proliferation of passing the football has made matchups more difficult and unpredictable.

    Darrelle Revis is a mercenary.

    Whether he's with the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or New England Patriots, Revis is going to be considered one of the game's top-tier cornerbacks.

    The nickname Revis Island evolved from the way he plays the game.

    During his time with the Jets, Revis was tasked with covering the opposing team's best wide receiver and shadowing him all game long.

    Dominating anyone he faced, Revis was basically putting dudes on an island, shutting them down in the process.

    This isn't Fantasy Island. The man they call Revis is one of the best cornerbacks we've seen come along in a while. His nickname is a tribute to that greatness.

6. Maurice Jones-Drew: "Pocket Hercules"

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Another slide means it's time for another Oakland Raiders running back.

    Before he was sporting a Silver and Black jersey, veteran halfback Maurice Jones-Drew was tearing up turf with the Jacksonville Jaguars for just under a decade.

    At 5'7", Jones-Drew earned himself the nickname Pocket Hercules.

    Despite his size, Jones-Drew's low center of gravity and powerful frame allowed him to bounce off defenders, break out long runs and score touchdowns.

    Even though he's 29 years old—a year away from the dreaded "turning 30" narrative for running backs—Pocket Hercules is still trying to prove that he can get it done in the Bay Area.

    Haters beware: Jones-Drew is a man with 8,071 rushing yards and 81 total touchdowns to his name.

5. Marshawn Lynch: "Beast Mode"

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Who needs a Pocket Hercules when you have Beast Mode?

    That's how the Seattle Seahawks must feel when you bring up their monstrous running back, Marshawn Lynch.

    The mythological creature we call Beast Mode was birthed after Lynch unleashed a ridiculous, Madden-like run that sent the city of Seattle into meltdown mode.

    Understanding the power behind the sobriquet, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell, Lynch has started to cash in on his Beast Mode fame.

    From Lynch's perspective, why not? If you have a good thing going, milk it until the cows come home—then milk it some more.

4. Calvin Johnson: "Megatron"

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    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    We've finally entered the cream of the crop.

    The game's most destructive, talented and physically gifted wide receiver's nickname is as fitting as they come: Megatron.

    Named after the Transformers character, Calvin Johnson plays like he's an actual machine.

    Excuse the old-school cartoon reference here, but being 6'5" and running a 4.35-second 40-yard dash is just straight up Bonkers.

    We may never seen another Megatron again. He's a rare combination of speed, strength, physical ability and football smarts.

    Maybe after his playing career is over, he could be featured in the next installment of Michael Bay's Transformers franchise.

    Don't even suit him up in robotic gear. Just let him keep his helmet on so he can go out and fight with the other Decepticons.

3. BenJarvus Green-Ellis: "The Law Firm"

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Moving along on our list of best nicknames in the NFL, Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis pops up at No. 3.

    Dubbed "The Law Firm," Green-Ellis has the classiest nickname in all of football.

    You've seen the commercials on TV by now. "Have you been hurt in an accident?" says a calming yet authoritative voice.

    "If so, you may be entitled to a large sum of money. Just contact the good people at BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and find out how you can walk home rich."

    Green-Ellis may never rush for 1,000 yards again in his career, but he could make a fortune setting up a law firm representing current and former NFL players.

    Remember: Having a great name is half the battle in business.

2. Tyrann Mathieu: "Honey Badger"

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Can you guess what a Mellivora capensis is?

    Take a minute, and think about it. Give up? A Mellivora capensis is another name for a honey badger.

    The last time I checked, animals aren't allowed to play in the NFL. Luckily for the Arizona Cardinals, they have their very own honey badger in defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.

    Hailing from New Orleans, Mathieu played his college ball at LSU. At just 5'9", 186 pounds, he was an "undersized" cornerback who wreaked havoc for the Tigers defense.

    Mathieu is fierce and overly aggressive, just like a honey badger. He's a turnover machine who changes the way the Cardinals defense looks when he's on the gridiron.

    For a young man under 6'0" tall, having the nickname Honey Badger because of the way you ball out is one heck of a compliment.

1. Terrance Knighton: "Pot Roast"

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Here it is: The No. 1 nickname in the entire NFL belongs to Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.

    At 6'3", 335 pounds, Knighton's size has made his fellow teammates and fans call him Pot Roast. That's right, Pot Roast.

    The stuff your mother makes on a Sunday night when the family is gathered around the table looking for a meal.

    Pot Roast was part of a dominant Broncos squad in 2013 and will be looking to help conquer the team's quest for a Super Bowl title this season.

    If you ever get the chance to meet Knighton, please refer to him as Pot Roast—it's only right. 

     

    All CFB stats and information courtesy of Sports-Reference.com, unless noted otherwise. All stats and NFL combine information courtesy of NFL.com.