The NFL is home to some very tall people, and sports fans are fascinated with a player’s size. But who takes the title of the tallest NFL player ever?
Read on as we reveal the top 10 tallest football players of all time and a little about their careers.
10. Calais Campbell – 6ft8
The Arizona Cardinals made this ferocious defensive lineman their second-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Campbell rewarded the Cardinals, starting in 120 of his 138 games with Arizona and earning multiple awards.
His career continued after moving on to Jacksonville in 2017, when he was named first-team All-Pro and was the runner-up for the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Campbell has kept his huge body in great shape, having started all 17 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2023, his 16th season at the age of 37.
9. Harold Carmichael – 6ft8
The NFL didn’t have much in the way of towering height at the receiver position when the Philadelphia Eagles made Harold Carmichael their seventh-round NFL draft pick in 1971.
Nicknamed “Big Daddy,” Carmichael excelled for his fans in Philly.
He led the NFL with 67 receptions and 1,116 yards in 1973, made the Pro Bowl four times and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
8. Dan McGwire – 6ft9
The Seattle Seahawks believed that Dan McGwire’s height as well as his bloodlines (his brother Mark McGwire set home run records with the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals) would vault him into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.
That didn’t happen.
McGwire played only 13 games over five seasons – but he stands as the NFL’s tallest-ever quarterback.
7. Alejandro Villanueva – 6ft9
Among the better individual stories about the tallest NFL players, Alejandro Villanueva fulfilled his military commitment after playing at Army.
After serving as an Army Rangers, Villanueva was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014 and started 10 of the 16 games he played as a rookie.
Villanueva never missed a start for the next six years and became a fan favorite. He earned his way to two Pro Bowls and retired in 2022.
6. Jonathan Ogden – 6ft9
The Baltimore Ravens selected Jonathan Ogden with their first-round NFL draft pick (No. 4 overall), and Ogden far exceeded those lofty expectations.
Perhaps no one on our list leveraged his size as much as Ogden, who was selected for 11 Pro Bowl appearances in his 12 NFL seasons.
Ogden won a Super Bowl, made first-team All-Pro four times, and even scored two touchdowns.
5. Ed “Too Tall” Jones – 6ft9
The man with the nickname that best fits our tallest NFL players guide, Ed “Too Tall” Jones was a very talented curiosity piece when he arrived in the NFL.
Dallas made Jones the league’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 1974, and Jones played until 1989 while winning a Super Bowl and being named first-team All-Pro (1982).
4. Caleb Jones – 6ft9
Big, big Caleb Jones played in one game last September and qualifies as one of the biggest of the big. He also made the list of heaviest NFL players, checking in at about 370 pounds.
Jones was a standout at the University of Indiana and most recently signed to the active roster by the Packers Dec. 14.
Jones originally signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent in May 2022.
3. Dan Skipper – 6ft10
The Dallas Cowboys signed Dan Skipper as an undrafted free agent in 2017. Skipper was cut by Dallas and signed by the Detroit Lions, his current team.
Skipper, who started five games last season and one this season, was promoted to the Lions’ active roster in October 2023 and has remained there since.
As of January 2023, among active players, Dan Skipper is the tallest player in the NFL.
2. Morris Stroud – 6ft10
The Kansas City Chiefs drafted tight end Morris Stroud in the third round of the 1969 NFL draft. Stroud started 49 of the 69 games he played in the NFL, making 54 catches for 977 yards and scoring seven touchdowns.
Stroud fell just short of being the tallest NFL player.
His final season was 1974. Stroud died in 2016 at the age of 70.
1. Richard Sligh – 7ft
The Oakland Raiders always enjoyed going against convention, and, in 1967 made Richard Sligh their 10th-round pick at No. 253 overall.
Sligh, then 23, never was a starter and made appearances in only eight games his rookie season before his NFL career ended.
He still stands as the tallest NFL player ever. Sligh was selected off of the Raiders roster by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1968 expansion draft but was cut before that season began and never returned to pro football.
Sligh died at 54 in 1998, but to this point retains the title of tallest player in NFL history.
Honorable mentions go to 6ft9 linemen Matthew O’Donnell and Alfredo Gutierrez. O’Donnell made the Bengals practice squad in 2011 and signed (and was subsequently cut) in 2015.
Gutierrez has not played in an NFL game but is signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.
The average height of the US male is approximately 5ft9, but the size of today’s players continues to grow as training techniques, nutrition and education have improved.
In addition to Skipper, Campbell and Brown mentioned above, several 6ft8 players made NFL rosters this past season.
Although a player’s height will rarely impact your NFL betting experience, it can offer some extra knowledge if you’re making any prop bets. Mostly, though, it’s just interesting to find out who tops the list of the tallest NFL players.
Who is the tallest NFL player?
Who is the tallest current NFL player?
Are there any 6’6” football players?
Are there any 7 foot NFL players?
How tall is the average NFL male?
Does height matter for NFL?
Who is the tallest person in the NFL right now?
- https://www.pro-football-reference.com/ (Pro Football Reference)
- https://denversportsradio.com/average-height-of-nfl-players/ (Denver Sports Radio)
- https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm (Centers for Disease Control)
- https://webpages.uidaho.edu/~renaes/251/HON/Student%20PPTs/Avg%20NFL%20ht%20wt.pdf (Study by R. Cole Blender)