Intimidation: The Top 5 Most Feared Players in the NFL Today

Zachary BasuContributor IIIDecember 2, 2011

Intimidation: The Top 5 Most Feared Players in the NFL Today

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    Speed, strength, power, skill—these are the qualities that every NFL player, no matter what position, wishes to possess.

    However, there are always those intangibles that separate the good from the great. Among them are heart, mental toughness and, of course, intimidation.

    Hundreds of great players over the years had that intimidation factor that pushed them over the edge and made them some of the best to ever walk on an NFL field.

    Whether they were threatening middle linebackers or powerful tailbacks, all of them struck fear into their opponents eyes.

    So, without further ado, here they are. The top five most feared players in the NFL today:

5. Adrian Peterson

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    I decided that it was my duty to include at least one running back on this list, and quite honestly, there is not even one offensive player in the NFL more intimidating than Adrian Peterson.

    What's truly amazing is how many ways he can beat you. He is by far the best running back in the league and shows it by running past players, running around players and running straight through players.

    The sheer amount of force that Peterson hits his defensive opponents with is simply astonishing.

    And when he's angry, like he is in the video, it's best to just get out of the way.

    If you don't believe me just ask William Gay, or Al Harris.

4. Ed Reed

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    Physically, Ed Reed is not the best.

    He's never the biggest or the fastest on the football field, but he always has the most heart.

    The "Ball Hawk" Ed Reed has enough drive in his 5'11", 200-pound frame to power an entire football team. If you don't believe me, just watch this emotional speech Reed made before a Miami Hurricanes game.

    His pure determination allows him to be one of the best safeties who ever lived.

    Reed always follows the ball wherever it goes, and that is what makes quarterbacks scared of him. Even veteran, Hall of Fame players are afraid to throw the ball near him because they know that he will do everything in his power to intercept it.

    That's called intimidation. That's called the best safety in football.

3. Clay Matthews

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    I'm not sure what makes Clay Matthews intimidating.

    Maybe it's the fact that he has the best hair in the NFL.

    Maybe it's the fact that he's sacked just about every quarterback in football.

    Maybe it's the fact that he was the 2010 NFC Defensive Player of the Year and has already won a Super Bowl, and he's only in his third year in the league.

    Or maybe it's the fact that he's the one man that absolutely no player wants to see flying down the field after the football.

    Clay Matthews is intimidation at its best. His whole persona is what makes him one of the most fun players, as well as one of the most feared players in the National Football League today.

2. James Harrison

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    Now, let me get this straight. James Harrison is not a nice person.

    In fact, some have even gone as far as to say that the four-time Pro Bowler out of Kent State even belongs in jail.

    I would say something about the matter, but I'm too scared that Harrison's going to come looking for me if I do.

    Last year, "Silverback" paid a grand total of $100,000 to the National Football League because of certain events such as this and this. Hell, even this.

    Harrison is particularly infamous for his helmet to helmet hits, which have left dozens of unsuspecting players with severe concussions.

    The man is downright scary. However, there is one player in the NFL who is believed to be more intimidating...

1. Ray Lewis

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    The most intimidating player in the NFL is Ray Lewis.

    There truly has not even been anybody like the 12-time Pro Bowler and three-time AFC Defensive Player of the Year. I could list off the rest of his achievements, but we'd be here too long.

    Lewis' intensity strikes fear into every opponent he has ever faced.

    Ray Lewis has never backed down from any challenge, even if his odds aren't the best.

    His hunger never stops and won't ever stop till the day he retires.

    Quite frankly, no man has ever done anything so well for so long.

    Nobody will ever have as much passion as the leader of the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis.