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Who are the Shortest Players in the NFL?

The NFL is well-known for its massive players - from linemen who can top 350 lbs and receivers taller than 6'5". Additionally, growth has been a trend in the NFL with the players getting bigger, faster and stronger.

But there is still room for the short man in the game. We take a look at the shortest player to play in the NFL and shortest players by position.

Shortest Player in the NFL

The shortest player to play in the NFL since 1990 is Trindon Holliday, who at 5' 5" is a receiver who spends most of his time on special teams as a return specialists. His small stature gives him dynamic speed and agility to elude the considerably larger players on the field.

Shortest Active Players in the NFL

Shortest Players By NFL Position Since 1990

Player Height Weight Position School Draft Year Overall Draft Pick Drafted By Last Season
Trindon Holliday 5' 5" 169 WR LSU 2010 197 Texans 2011
Jim Breech 5' 6" 175 K California 1978 206 Lions 1992
Darren Sproles 5' 6" 190 RB Kansas State 2005 130 Chargers 2011
Mark McMillian 5' 7" 154 CB Alabama 1992 272 Eagles 1999
Steve Jackson 5' 8" 182 S Purdue 1991 71 Oilers 1999
James Atkins 5' 8" 306 T Louisiana-Lafayette Undrafted         2000
Buster Davis 5' 9" 239 LB Florida State 2007 69 Cardinals 2008
Toby Gowin 5' 10" 167 P North Texas Undrafted         2000
Doug Flutie 5' 10" 180 QB Boston College 1985 285 Rams 2005
Mustafah Muhammad 5' 10" 180 DB Fresno State Undrafted         2000
Allen Reese 5' 10" 294 DT Kansas State Undrafted         2003
Delanie Walker 6' 0" 242 TE Central Missouri 2006 175 49ers 2011
Mike Schneck 6' 1" 234 C Wisconsin Undrafted         2009
Darryl Tapp 6' 1" 270 DE Virginia Tech 2006 63 Seahawks 2011
Brandon Collier 6' 1" 280 DT Massachusetts Undrafted         2011
Sifa Etu 6' 1" 295 G Arkansas State Undrafted         2011

Shorter players of note:

  • James Atkins, a Tackle, who at 5' 9" is a foot shorter than the tallest player to play the same position. Atkins at 306 lbs is the shortest and heaviest player to play in the NFL.
  • Doug Flutie, who is the shortest QB to play the game is famous for his last second Hail Mary pass in 1984 for Boston College. He played for a total of 21 professional seasons across the USFL, NFL and CFL. Seattle Seahawks starting QB, Russell Wilson is only one inch taller than Flutie.
  • Mark McMillian, who is the shortest cornerback to play the game was nicknamed Mighty Mouse and was well-known for his vertical leap, which allowed him to compete against taller receivers. He finished his career with 23 interceptions.
  • Darryl Tapp, the shortest Defensive End to play is a full six inches taller than Rudy Ruettiger (5'6"), the famed inspiration behind the movie Rudy.

Shortest Players in other leagues:


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