You know that NFL players tend to be very large men, but do you know how tall they are? Imagine being a quarterback and sitting in the pocket looking for a wide receiver to throw to. Suddenly your sight is blocked by a 330-pound, seven-foot-tall monster. There’s no escaping the bruising that’s about to get put on you. That’s why it helps to be Ben Roethlisberger, big and tall enough to stand up to the punishment; maybe even throw a touchdown in the process. These are the tallest football players of all-time, and they prove size does matter.
Brock Osweiler Is The Tallest QB Today
Brock Osweiler has had one of the more interesting NFL careers. Once considered the future of the Denver Broncos, the tallest quarterback in the league couldn’t breathe the air in the Mile High City and ended up in Houston. When that didn’t work out, he moved to Cleveland, only to come back home to Denver.
Finally, in 2018, Osweiler signed with the Miami Dolphins to back up Ryan Tannehill. By week six, Tannehill was benched with an injured shoulder, putting the 6’7″ “Brock-Lobster” show in the spotlight in Miami. Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the man that can see over any defensive player.
Dan McGwire Is The Tallest QB Ever
Dan McGwire was taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the 16th overall pick in the 1991 NFL Draft. At the time the 6’8″ behemoth was seen as a can’t miss prospect. After four years on the bench, Seattle admitted he was a bust and let him walk in with free agency.
McGwire signed with the Dolphins, similar to Osweiler, and played there for one season before retiring. If you recognize his last name, that’s because he’s the brother of MLB legend Mark McGwire.
J.D. Moore Is The Tallest Running Back Today
John David Moore is currently a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. Drafted out of LSU, Moore stands at 6’4″ and is spending his 2018 season on the injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. Trying to make the team as a fullback, Moore’s replacement is Anthony Sherman, the shortest in the league.
At LSU, Moore was an unstoppable force, starting 17 and catching 19 passes for 127 yards. He scored two touchdowns as the primary back-up to big man Leonard Fournette.
Bert Coan Is The Tallest Running Back In History
Standing an inch above the competition, Bert Coan is the tallest running back in NFL history, measuring in at 6’10.” Coan played for the Chiefs from 1962 until 1968 and racked up 1,259 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has one of the fastest 100-yard dash times in league history.
Honorable mention on this spot goes to Brandon Jacobs, pictured above. A standout for the New York Giants during their 2000’s Super Bowl campaigns, Jacobs was a bruising runner at 6’4″ and 264 pounds. His 60 touchdowns is a New York franchise record.
The League’s Tallest Punter Ever Also Played Wide Receiver
A funny thing happens when you’re tall. You sign with a team to play one position, then they look at you and think you can play more. That’s what happened to 6’6″ punter Pat McInally when he was signed by the Bengals in 1976.
Not only was a great punt, but for four years the team used him as a wide receiver. From 1977 until 1981 McInally racked up 808 receiving yards. He’s also the only athlete to ever score a perfect 50 out of 50 on the Wonderlic test.
Tanner McEvoy Is 2018’s Tallest Wideout
Tanner McEvoy is currently relegated to the New Orleans Saints practice squad, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be on this list! As a rookie with the Seahawks in 2016, the 6’6″ wideout flashed signs of his potential, even catching a 22-yard touchdown reception against the Packers.
In 2018, he’s working his way back into the fold with New Orleans, hoping to get a chance to play football from Drew Brees. With Michael Thomas as Brees’ main target, McEvoy has some serious competition. Is he up for the challenge?
Harold Carmichael Was Impossible To Defend
Coming out of college, 6’8″ wide receiver Harold Carmichael probably could have played in the NBA if he wanted to. He was so tall that Southern University used him as their starting center on the basketball team. Carmichael chose the NFL and became a legend in Philly.
These days he’s remembered as much for his height as he is for his accomplishments on the field. In 1973, Carmichael led the league in receiving yards and was a matchup nightmare for defensive backs. The Eagles inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 1987.
Calais Campbell Is The League’s Tallest Defensive End
Calais Campbell had a coming out party in Jacksonville in 2017, recording 14.5 sacks and earning First-team All-Pro honors. To top off his year, the Pro Football Writers of America named the 6’8″ giant the Defensive Player of the Year. We’d say he was a pretty good pick-up in free agency!
Before coming to Jacksonville, Campbell spent eight seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, who selected him with the 50th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. When he became a free agent in 2016, several teams bid for his services, but no one offered as much as the Jaguars.
Ed "Too Tall" Jones Earned His Nickname
Ed Jones was nicknamed “Too Tall” because everyone thought he was too tall to be successful. He proved them all wrong all wrong when he was taken as the first overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 1974. He spent the next 15 season in Dallas, earning three All-Pro selections along the way.
Living the dream at 6’10,” Jones took a brief detour from the NFL in 1979 to take a jab at a boxing career. When he retired in the ’80s, Jones had 106 career sacks, the third most in team history.
The 49ers Have The League’s Tallest Cornerback Tandem
Leave it to the San Francisco 49ers to prove that size matters. The 2018 team boasts the tallest cornerback tandem in the NFL with both Richard Sherman and Akhello Witherspoon measuring 6’3." Their height hasn’t led to success yet, as the 49ers secondary is statistically one of the worst in the league.
There are four other cornerbacks in the league right now with the same height; Kevin King, Tre Flowers, Simeon Thomas, and Adonis Alexander. It’s San Francisco’s pair that’s stands out to us, though.
Brandon Browner Was Just Taller Than Everyone Else
Brandon Browner had a roller coaster ride of a career in the NFL. The record-setting 6’4″ cornerback played for four teams, was selected to two Pro Bowls. While he won a Super Bowl, he was also rated one of the worst defenders in the league. He added five seasons playing in Canada to his resume, too.
Like we said, his career was very topsy turvy. The peak, no doubt, was his Super Bowl-winning campaign with the Patriots in 2014. The lowest of the low, we’re guessing, is the next year when he set the league record for penalties with 24. It wasn’t him, ref!
There Are Three Safeties That Reach 6’4″
Three NFL safeties are tied for the tallest in the league; George Iloka (Minnesota), Jayron Kearse (Minnesota), and Obi Melifonwu (Oakland). Iloka is the most accomplished of the three after being drafted by the Bengals in 2012. Seen as a franchise star, he was given a $30 million contract extension in 2016.
Iloka, however, did not live up to expectations and was released two years later. The Vikings quickly picked up the 28-year-old. Kearse and Melifonwu are both still on their original rookie deals.
The Tallest Safety Ever Is A Familiar Face
Proving there is a height cap at the safety position, Iloka is considered the tallest safety ever in the NFL. Trust us, it’s a difference of centimeters. Going deeper into his young career, we can see why the Vikings were willing to give the talented player a second shot after being released by Cincinnati.
In his time with the Bengals, Iloka was nothing if not consistent. He was never a Pro Bowl caliber player but did his best effort on the field every Sunday. With the Vikings, he now has a chance to reach his full potential and maybe even win a Super Bowl ring!
Daniel Carlson Is The Tallest Kicker, For Now
The life of the NFL kicker is not easy. Miss a few field goals early in the season and it will cost you your job. That’s exactly what happened to the league’s tallest kicker. At 6’5″ Daniel Carlson was hoping to find glory as a rookie with Minnesota.
Instead, he was given his pink slip, free to find employment with another team. Normally we wouldn’t include a free agent on this list, but Carlson will get another chance. He’s too young and cheap not to. Remember, the Cowboys released Dan Bailey when they didn’t want to pay him $4 million, opting to go for an unproven but cheaper kicker instead.
You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Cornelius Joseph Dennis O’Donoghue
Cornelius Joseph Dennis O’Donoghue is the NFL’s tallest kicker of all-time. Standing at 6’6″, we only wish his accuracy was as impressive as his height. O’Donoghue played nine seasons in the NFL, retiring with a 59.3 percent accuracy. That’s… not good.
His longest field goal was a 52-yarder. His best season came in 1984 when he set his team’s record for the most points scored, with 117. Coming in a close second height-wise is Joe Nedney, one of the league’s best kickers of all-time.
JK Scott Is Punting Balls And Taking Names For The Packers
Part of the 2018 rookie class, John Kimball Scott holds the distinction of being the tallest punter in the NFL at 6’5.” Taken with the 172nd overall pick, the Packer is currently averaging 46 yards per punt. Not bad for a rookie!
During his college career, he played for Alabama, where he helped the team win two national championships. He was twice named First-team All-SEC and the second punter to be taken in the draft.
Tanoh Kpassagnon Will Bat Down The Ball As A Linebacker
Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Tanoh Kpassagnon measures in at 6’7″ and 280 pounds. He plays outside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs and has the length to bat any ball down at the line of scrimmage. Do you think you could throw past him?
Kpassagnon played his college ball at Villanova and was taken in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Over the course his two-year NFL career, he has 16 tackles and two sacks but promises there is much more where that came from.
They Called Ted Hendricks “The Mad Stork” For A Reason
Ted Hendricks stands head and tails above his linebacking competition as the tallest ever. Known as “The Mad Stork” he was a true match up nightmare for opposing offensive linemen and quarterbacks. One of greatest to ever play the position, Hendricks was rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame after retiring.
By the time he called it quits he had used his height to block 25 field goals and recover 16 fumbles. He went to eight Pro Bowls and was touted as one of the smartest players to ever put on a uniform.
The Tallest Tight End In The League Isn’t Who You Think It Is
When you think about who the biggest tight end in the NFL is, you probably think Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce. We’re not looking for the biggest, though, we’re looking for the tallest. That distinction belongs to Detroit’s Levine Toilolo and Houston’s Jevoni Robinson.
Incredibly, both men are 6’8″ and don’t need to create separation to catch passes in traffic. The quarterback just needs to throw the ball high. Really high. Unfortunately, neither have been incredibly productive this year. Robinson hasn’t even caught a single pass!
This Tight End Was So Tall The League Named A Rule After Him!
Morris Stroud was a 6’10” tight end who used every bit of it as a Chief to annoy kickers. Kansas City didn’t use Stroud as a traditional tight end. Instead, they would have him lineup under the upright during field goals to swat the ball down before it cleared the upright.
The NFL decided this was a dirty play and created the “Stroud Rule” outlawing goaltending under the post. Oddly enough, Stroud never successfully blocked a field goal this way. In 1962, 6’3″ R.C. Owens did it in a game against the Redskins.
Running Over Defenders Easily
Brandon Jacobs is one of the Giants most accomplished running backs in history. The 4th round draft pick from 2005 has two Super Bowl titles on his resume thanks to his Giants beating the Patriots twice.
The big guy stands at 6’4″, which is incredibly tall for a running back. He used the height to his advantage on his way to becoming the Giants’ franchise leader in career rushing touchdowns. Who really wants to try and tackle him?
The Beast Tackle
Jonathan Ogden had the honors of becoming the first draft pick in Baltimore Ravens history. It must have been exciting when they called his name 4th overall in 1996. He repaid them by spending his whole career in Baltimore.
He secured a Super Bowl ring in 2011 after the Ravens beat the Giants. The 6’9″ tackle was also a nine-time All-Pro and made the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000’s decade. None of those accomplishments are easy.
The Unanimous All-American
Standing at 6’7″, Robert Gallery was a unanimous All-American in 2003. In college, he was First Team Big 10 from 2002-2003. After college, the Oakland Raiders drafted him 2nd overall in the 2004 draft.
In that time, many experts said he was the best linemen coming out of college in years. That’s some pretty high praise no matter what position you play. The only thing, he never would live up to his hype in the NFL.
Straight From Hillsdale College
The Oakland Raiders drafted Jared Veldheer 69th overall in the 2010 draft. The center had an immaculate career at Hillsdale College and did great in his first four seasons in the league. After he was finished with Oakland, he headed to Arizona.
The Arizona Cardinals signed him to a five-year deal worth $35 million in 2014. Standing at 6’8″ he’s one of the toughest to get behind if you’re a defensive player. This man is huge!
The Seven Foor Monster
Does the name Richard Sligh ring any bells? He’s the only player in NFL history to measure at least seven feet tall. Thinking about him sprinting on the field to tackle someone already frightens us.
The Oakland Raiders took a chance on Sligh in the 1967 draft after he had a solid career at North Carolina Central University. In his first season, he won the AFL title and was a reserve on the team for the Raiders’ Super Bowl II roster.
The Undrafted Free Agent
After going undrafted in 2011, Mike McAdoo landed with the Baltimore Ravens and was a member of the team that won the championship in 2012. That’s some exciting first year. At 6’7″, McAdoo attended the University of Carolina on a football scholarship.
His college days came to end in the most unfortunate of ways. McAdoo got caught plagiarizing so the NCAA declared him permanently ineligible for academic misconduct. That goes to show you can’t cheat the system.
Give It Up For Pat Watkins
The tallest safety in the league used to be the Dallas Cowboys’ fifth-round pick from the 2006 draft. Pat Watkins stands at 6’5″ and played his college ball for the Florida State University Seminoles.
You wouldn’t expect someone this tall to be able to run a 4.42 second 40 yard dash time, but he did it. Overall, he played four seasons, three with the Cowboys and one for the then San Diego Chargers. He finished his career as a safety.
A Foot Ahead The Competition
Travis Dorsch might’ve only played two seasons in the NFL, but he did so at a height most kickers don’t reach. Dorsch played his college ball for Purdue and became a 4th round pick for the Bengals in 2002.
Standing at 6’6″, Dorsch finished his Doctorate degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology in 2013. These days, he isn’t kicking anything but knowledge as an assistant professor at Utah State University. That’s quite the profession change.
Kickers Standing Tall
While there is no set height that’s perfect for a kicker or punter, you usually don’t see many that are as tall as Shawn McCarthy. The 6’6″ punter launched a ball 93 yards in 1991. That stands as the New England Patriots’ franchise record and the third longest punt in NFL history.
He was a late draft pick in 1990, coming in during the 12th round on behalf of the Atlanta Falcons. He would only play with the Patriots from 1991-1992.
Terrell Brown Doesn’t Mess Around
In 2013, the Rams signed a man by the name of Terrell Brown. He was an undrafted player out of Ole Miss and they listed him at 6’10” and 388 pounds. That’s massive already, but when they brought him in, he was larger.
“Actually, we weighed him in at 403,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters Thursday. “We had him in for the tryout, and he had some issues that we had to clear up from a physical standpoint. But he got that put behind us.”
His Name Is King Dunlap
A man with the first name of King already sounds daunting, especially if it isn’t a nickname of any sorts. No nickname here, his name is really King Dunlap and the man is huge. He comes in at 6’9″ easily.
He played the offensive tackle position for the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers. The Eagles drafted him in 2008 after his tenure at Auburn University. Surprisingly enough, his 40 yard dash time wasn’t that slow as he clocked a 5.28.
Dan Skipper Is The Name, Don’t Forget It
They call him Dan “The Man” Skipper and he most certainly is the man. The offensive lineman stands a whopping 6’10” and played college football as an Arkansas Razorback. Those college kids must’ve been petrified lining up across from Skipper.
He managed to set a school record for most blocked field goals by blocking three his freshman year. He only played one game in the NFL for the Detroit Lions in 2017 but wishes to see the field more in the future.
The Illinois Native
Dennis Kelly went to college at Purdue and entered the NFL in 2012 after the Eagles drafted him in the fifth-round. The 6’8″ offensive tackle makes great holes for the running back to break free.
He stayed with the Eagles for three years before heading to Tennessee to play with the Titans. He may not be a starter, but he’s the type of player you need on your depth chart thanks to his size and power.
The Giant Cowboy
This USC product stands at 6’5″ with a weight of 312 pounds. Tyron Smith, (number 77 who you see helping up Tony Romo) is arguably the best blindside offensive lineman in the NFL. He’s the main reason Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are performing so well over in Dallas. Defensive lineman must exert all of their efforts trying to get past Smith.
The Moreno Valley native has the massive strength to go along with his size so he’s a nightmare for defensive coordinators to try and figure out how to go through him. He once pushed back a defender five yards with one easy shove.
Barnes Needed A Talking
T.J. Barnes is a big boy. The former Georgia Tech defensive tackle weighs 364 pounds and stands 6’7″. That makes him bigger than the majority of players in a league that already consists of some of the largest humans in the world. Barnes trying to get past Tryon Smith would be a great matchup!
In fact, Barnes was so large when he entered the NFL that some teams wouldn’t take him because they were afraid he was a little too big. “They told him straight up that to crack an NFL roster, he has to lighten up,” wrote Matt Winkeljohn for Ramblinwreck. “New York coaches and team officials have given Barnes a talking-to more than once.”
Ndamukong Suh has earned himself a bad reputation on the field over the length of his playing career but lately, he’s been letting his play be his reputation. Having done cruel things in the past to other players like stomping one out, it can be hard to regain the support of fans and your peers. But none of that would have been a problem if Suh never ended up playing football in the first place.
“Coaches had been begging him to play,” GQ writes. “A kid that big? That nimble? Suddenly his size, his muscle mass, were assets. It was like coming out of the closet. He was encouraged to hit people.” His early coaches had awakened the current 6’4″, 307-pound lineman.
You Don’t Want To Cross Him
You know you’re great at what you do when you have the best sticking up for you. Phil Loadholt wasn’t really the best due to pure skill but he was amazing because of his massive size. Loadholt plays for the Minnesota Vikings and while Adrian Peterson was there, he advocated for the Vikings to keep the well-sized lineman around to help with his running game.
“He’s just been improving each year. I’m going to keep my arms around him this offseason as well, just to make sure he’s staying on top of this game and he’s working out and he’s doing the necessary things to make someone want to bring you back as well,” Peterson said. Loadholt is 6’8″ and weighs 345 pounds.
Maybe the true secret to why the Patriots are always in the Super Bowl isn’t Tom Brady or the “cheating”. Perhaps the real reason they are so successful is that Brady has a Cannon protecting him. Not just any cannon, his name is Marcus Cannon and he stands at 6’5″ adding 340 pounds of weight. Try getting through that, defense.
He is the guy Patriot fans must be secretly rooting for to stay healthy because, without his help, Brady is an open target. We hope they can find a replacement once his days in New England or over.
Rodger That, Shaun
To be considered the best defensive tackle in the NFL, one must possess a huge body and have an amazing athletic ability so they can move around the field. Shaun Rogers was just that and was up there with the best.
You see in the image, he breaks through what looks like two or even three defenders before making his way to Tony Romo. If the NFL didn’t have rules protecting certain players from big hits then this might have been the hit that ended Romo’s career and made him a broadcaster. He was 6’4 and 350 pounds while he played.
Paul Soliai Is Built For This
The Polynesian pride, Paul Soliai was not one to underestimate. He was 6’4″ and weighed 332 pounds playing defensive tackle. So he would face guys like Tyron Smith who are big in their own right but apparently, Soliai had an advantage to his game that only a few had as well.
“Polynesian players are built for combat, built for football – big, strong, fast, said Haloti Moala who was a Polynesian coach. “The warrior spirit is within us. We love contact. That’s been the history of our people.” He was a problem for all offenses.