Sporting Charts

Who Are The Tallest Players In The NFL?

The NFL is well known for having some of the biggest and strongest athletes in the world, like 374 lbs offensive tackle Michael Jasper or Justin Ernest who in 1999 bench pressed 225 lbs 51 times during his combine. 

Size, strength and speed are key components to a successful NFL player - the bigger, the stronger and the faster the player is, the more they add to their team. Height on the other hand isn't always a pre-requisite to NFL success, just ask Doug Flutie or 5' 5" Trindon Holliday.

However, there are quite a few players who could be found on the NBA courts and not look out of place, height wise.

We take a look at the tallest players to play in the NFL and break down the tallest by positions.

The Tallest Player To Play In The NFL

The record for the tallest player in the NFL is 7 foot tall with the honor going to Oakland Raiders tackle Richard Sligh. After being drafted in 1967, Sligh played a total of eight games with the Raiders during the 1967 season. He never played another down after but was a reserve for the 1968 Raiders - a team that eventually lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II.

Much like Richard Sligh, the defensive tackle position is where you will find most of the tallest men in the game. Since 1990, there have been a total of seven 6' 9" players to play the tackle position in the NFL.

Below are details on each of the seven tackles:

Player Height Weight Pos. School Draft Year Drafted By Last Season
Jonathan Ogden 6' 9" 345 T UCLA 1996 Ravens 2007
Jared Gaither 6' 9" 340 T Maryland 2007 Ravens 2011
Matthew O'Donnell 6' 9" 328 T Queen's Undrafted    2011
Dennis Roland 6' 9" 322 T Georgia Undrafted    2011
Demar Dotson 6' 9" 315 T S. Miss Undrafted    2011
Rob Bohlinger 6' 9" 310 T Wyoming Undrafted    1998
Jim Newton 6' 9" 297 T Utah State Undrafted    2003


The award for the biggest and tallest player to play in the NFL goes to eleven-time Pro Bowl selection Jonathan Ogden who at 6' 9" and 345 lbs is the tallest and heaviest player to play the game.

Tallest Players By Position

It isn't too surprising that the tallest player are found along the line of scrimmage must like the heaviest players are found there as well. We decided to look at the other positions in the game to see who were the tallest players to play at each position.

Here is the full list of tallest players by position:

Player Height Weight Pos. School Draft Year Drafted By Last Season
Morris Stroud 6' 10" 255 TE Clark Atlanta 1969 Chiefs 1974
Ed "Too Tall" Jones 6' 9" 271 DE Tenn. State 1974 Cowboys 1989
Terrance Simmons 6' 8" 310 DT Alabama State Undrafted    2002
Chris Pike 6' 8" 290 DT Tulsa 1987 Eagles 1991
Dan McGwire 6' 8" 240 QB San Diego State 1991 Seahawks 1995
Matt Blundin 6' 8" 233 QB Virginia 1992 Chiefs 1997
Wes Lyons 6' 8" 233 WR West Virginia Undrafted    2011
Dave Widell 6' 7" 318 C Boston College 1988 Cowboys 1998
Grant Feasel 6' 7" 283 C Abilene Christian 1983 Colts 1992
Michael McAdoo 6' 7" 245 LB North Carolina Undrafted    2011
Von Hutchins 6' 7" 185 CB Mississippi 2004 Colts 2007
Shawn McCarthy 6' 6" 227 P Purdue 1990 Falcons 1992
Travis Dorsch 6' 6" 222 K Purdue 2002 Bengals 2002
Frank Conover 6' 5" 325 NT Syracuse 1991 Browns 1991
Lorenzo Freeman 6' 5" 319 NT Pittsburgh 1987 Packers 1991
Joe Phillips 6' 5" 317 NT Southern Meth. 1986 Vikings 1999
Quentin Scott 6' 5" 224 S Northern Iowa Undrafted    2011
Pat Watkins 6' 5" 220 S Florida State 2006 Cowboys 2011
Erik Lorig 6' 4" 275 RB Stanford 2010 Buccaneers 2011
Brandon Jacobs 6' 4" 264 RB Southern Illinois 2005 Giants 2011
Ryan Mahaffey 6' 4" 262 RB Northern Iowa Undrafted    2011
Matt Cushing 6' 4" 251 RB Illinois Undrafted    2004
Kori Dickerson 6' 4" 250 RB USC Undrafted    2003
Brad Muster 6' 4" 235 RB Stanford 1988 Bears 1994
Jim Jensen 6' 4" 224 RB Boston U. 1981 Dolphins 1992


Notes:

  • At 6' 8" WR Wes Lyons is 13 inches or over a foot taller than Trindon Holliday, the shortest player to play the position.
     
  • James Atkins, who at 5' 8" is the shortest Tackle in history and is over a foot shorter than the tallest players to play the position.
     
  • 10 inches is the difference between tallest QBs Dan McGwire and Matt Blundin and the shortest QB to play Doug Flutie (5' 10").


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