Average Height Of An NFL Player (All The Facts)

Editorial credit: Richard Paul Kane / Shutterstock.com

Finding out the average height of the NFL player can be rather tricky and requires a scientific calculation if you hope to be precise. That said, most people don’t really want to spend hours doing maths when seeking a simple answer to a simple question. So, what is the average height of an NFL player?

According to more than one study and multiple surveys, the average height of an NFL player is 6 foot 2 inches. However, not all positions are equal, and the average height can be broken down by position. The shortest average is around 5’10. The tallest average is the OL at around 6’4.

Using all of this information, there is a lot that we can unpack. I want to ask and answer as many questions as I can regarding the average height of an NFL player. For example: who were the tallest and shortest players, what were the shortest and the tallest positions, and much more. Let’s get into it.

Is 5’10 A Good Height For An NFL Player?

The average height of an American male is around 5 foot 9. However, a lot of what makes up that average are people who are 5’10. So, is a large part of the American population excluded from the NFL simply because they didn’t reach 6 feet but rather sit at around 5’10?

Being 5 foot 10 does not mean you are small. However, we do know that whether you get into the NFL depends on many other factors other than just your height. If you’re 5 foot 10, here are four things you should consider if you are trying to make it into the NFL:

  • Are you agile?
  • How fast are you?
  • How much do you weigh?
  • What position do you want to play?

At 5 foot 10, you are less likely to get into the offensive line than playing as a wide receiver or RB. Both positions require a level of agility and speed. So if you tick all of those boxes, then you can give it a shot. Remember, you can also work on all of those things, so don’t be discouraged if you are falling short at the moment.

Who is the shortest person in NFL Currently?

In the history of the NFL, there have been some very short players, and we will discuss that further down in the article. Now let’s take a look at the shortest players currently playing in the NFL:

  • Deonte Harty (5 foot 6)
  • J.J. Taylor (5 foot 6)
  • Deonte Harty (5 foot 6)
  • Boston Scott (5 foot 6)

Four players stand at only 5 foot 6—a few stand at 5 foot seven or five foot 8, and so on.

See, if you are only 5 foot 5 to 5 foot 10, there are a few positions that you can comfortably play in NFL. Yes, you may have to work harder than someone who is 6 foot 4 to get into the team but don’t let that discourage you. Instead, work on your craft, and you stand a chance.

Who Is The Tallest Person In The NFL Currently?

Being over 6 feet tall helps you get into the NFL as there are more positions that you can play, and so on. However, being tall is not always an advantage, as there is a point where you need to work harder the taller you get. For example, there are not many 6’9 players, like there are few 5’6 players.

That said, here are the four tallest players currently playing in the NFL:

  • Caleb Jones (6 foot 9)
  • Jordan Murray (6 foot 9)
  • Roy Mbaeteka (6 foot 9)
  • Alfredo Gutierrez (6 foot 9)

Most NFL players over 6 foot 5 typically play on the offensive line. You need big players to block the defensive line from making a play.

What Position Has The Shortest Average Player In The NFL?

I like to think that height is not a limiting factor as to whether or not you can play in the NFL. However, it can be a determining factor as to where you play. While it is not impossible, it is highly unlikely that you will get into the offensive line as a short player.

So, let’s look at the shortest average player based on their position in the NFL.

According to a recent study, the running back position has the shortest average players sitting at around 179 centimeters. Other than that, let’s take a look and a few other positions:

  • Running back
  • Wide Receiver
  • Full back

To say that all of those players are short would be disingenuous, as you get tall running backs and wide receivers.

What Position Has The Tallest Average Position In The NFL?

The offensive line is the tallest average position in the NFL, regardless of what team you look at. There are multiple advantages to being tall. The most significant advantage comes when you need to get involved in scrimmages, as the offensive line typically does. Also, having a slight reach advantage can be beneficial.

The average height of the offensive line is between 6 foot 4 and 6 foot 5. As a taller player, you typically have a larger reach and can cover more ground, making it a lot easier to deal with big, strong, or explosive players.

It is all about protecting your quarterback, who is not the tallest guy on the field and can sometimes be shorter than 6 feet. Remember, all the quarterback needs is a good arm, intelligence, special awareness, and accuracy.

Shortest NFL Players In History

Discussing the shortest players in NFL history is extremely interesting because some short people have played the sport. One of these played the sport many years ago, and back then, players were not as tall as they are today, but still, it’s an interesting fact.

With that out of the way, here is a small list of the top three shortest NFL players in history.

  • Jack Shapiro: Born in 1907, Jack Shapiro is the shortest ever NFL player at only 155 centimeters tall (5 foot 1).
  • Trindon Holliday: At only 165 centimeters tall (5 foot 4), Trindon is the second shortest NFL player in history. He played as a wide receiver.
  • JJ Taylor: We have already mentioned JJ Taylor in this article. It feels slightly weird saying he is the third shortest NFL player ever because, at 5 foot 6, he is level with a few other NFL players.

Trindon Holliday is a great example for anyone below 5 foot 7 or even 5 foot 5. Yes, we can use Jack Shapiro as an example, but the game has changed since the days he was playing. So, if you are under 5 foot 7, perhaps you should try out for the same position as Trindon, a wide receiver.

Editorial credit: Richard Paul Kane / Shutterstock.com

Tallest Player In NFL History

The tallest player in NFL history stood at a whopping 7 feet tall. Not many people can recall who it is because it was so long ago. In 1967 Richard Singh was drafted to the NFL. Not only was Singh the tallest player in the sport’s history, but he was also significantly taller than most other defensive tackles.

Next up is Matt O’Donnell, who stood tall at 5 foot 11. Well, Matt did not necessarily play in the NFL. Instead, he was a Canadian professional footballer who played for just over ten years. Matt O’Donnell played as an offensive lineman, which makes more sense at his height than playing as a defensive tackle.

Does The NFL Have A Height Requirement?

You may think that only people of shorter stature would ask this question. However, I have been asked by a few people whether or not there is a height limit and a height requirement. Remember, a limit would be used as a maximum while a height requirement would be used as a minimum, but do they exist in NFL?

The NFL did not place any height specifications in their rulebook. So, it does not matter how tall or short you are; if you are good enough to make it into a team, you are eligible to play in the NFL.

On that note, the NFL also does not place any weight restrictions on anyone; however, you don’t want to be too small when joining a team, as American football can be quite a rough sport, so be sure to pack on at least some muscle.

What Is The Average Weight Of An NFL Player?

Weight has less to do with whether or not you can be an NFL player than height does. It is important to understand that some players can be short and stocky while packing the same weight as someone tall and lean.

That said, the average weight of an NFL player is 245 pounds (111 kg). The heaviest of those is the offensive line at over 300 pounds (136 kg).

If you are worried about whether or not you weigh enough to be in the NFL, it is more important to look at your physique and ask:

  • Are you athletic or not?
  • What is your BMI?

What Are The Chances For Short People In The NFL?

At the end of the day, you need to know your limitations, but fortunately, I don’t believe that height plays a significant role in whether or not you can play in the NFL.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you your chances of getting into the NFL or any sport, but I can say, this may seem a little cliche, but don’t let your height hold you back. Instead, work as hard as you can.

If you are up against a 6 foot 2 person, you might have to work a little bit harder than them, or you can go for a position where they might not be agile or fast enough to be in. You see, it’s all about understanding what you are capable of and working with what you have


American sports seem to be slightly different from the most popular sport in Europe, soccer. For example, players like Lionel Messi, who is only 5 foot 7, are considered one of the best in the world, whereas the NFL seems to favor taller people; this should not discourage you, though.


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