Facebook Pixel

    Top 10 Tallest Players in NFL History

    Discover the top 10 tallest NFL players ever. Learn how their height gave them an advantage and made them legends.

    Published on

    In the NFL, some physical qualities matter more than others. A strong arm for a quarterback. Great hands for receivers. Quick acceleration for linebackers.

    And then there’s height. As with other physical characteristics, some positions don’t need it — or at least, not much of it. But at other positions, height can elevate talent beyond what mere skill can offer. Here are the 10 tallest players in NFL history and what they meant to the game.

    Tallest NFL Players in History: Towering Over the Competition

    There have been a lot of tall players. These 10 are regarded as the tallest. Collectively, they played seven distinct positions — five on offense and two on defense. Each used his height to his advantage.

    Richard Sligh, Oakland Raiders, 7’0″

    Defensive tackle Richard Sligh was the tallest NFL player in history. Weighing in at 300 pounds, he played eight games for the Raiders but served as a reserve during their loss to the Packers in Super Bowl II.

    Dan Skipper, Detroit Lions, 6’10”

    There are a few guys listed at 6’10”. As a current player, the 325-pound Dan Skipper wins the tiebreaker, slotting in right below Sligh.

    MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

    The offensive tackle was a Consensus All-American at Arkansas. Since then, he’s played on six NFL squads, including three times with the Lions, where he remains rostered today.

    Morris Stroud, Kansas City Chiefs, 6’10”

    If tight end Morris Stroud played today, he might be one of the best TEs in the league. In the early 1970s, he was sparsely used at that position, catching only 54 balls in five years. That said, he averaged an incredible 18.1 yards per reception.

    More notably, his height compelled the league to change its rules. Stroud used to line up under the goalposts on opponents’ field goal attempts so he could try to knock the ball away before it went through the uprights. The NFL determined that was simply unfair. Score one for the little guy.

    Ed Jones, Dallas Cowboys, 6’9″

    One of the most dominant defensive linemen of his era, Ed “Too Tall” Jones anchored the Cowboys’ defense for 15 seasons, compiling 106 sacks while racking up three Pro Bowl selections. He was the first pick taken in 1974 after sacking opposing quarterbacks 38 times at Tennessee State.

    Jonathan Ogden, Baltimore Ravens, 6’9″

    The best offensive tackle of all time? No doubt, Johnathan Ogden would be at or near the top of that list. The No. 4 overall pick of the 1996 draft, Ogden played 12 dominant seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, and he was selected to the Pro Bowl every year after his rookie campaign while eventually becoming his franchise’s first Pro Football Hall of Famer.

    Alejandro Villanueva, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, 6’9″

    There’s been a trend so far with the tallest players remaining on the same team throughout their careers. Alejandro Villanueva went a different route — a much different route.

    After playing college football for Army, he completed three deployments in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. For rescuing wounded soldiers amidst heavy enemy fire, he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor.

    The Eagles went on to sign him in 2014, and although he was soon cut, the Steelers jumped at the chance to capitalize on his height and athleticism. While playing on both sides of the ball in college, Villanueva transitioned to offensive tackle for Pittsburgh, where he started 90 games. He wrapped up his career with 17 starts in Baltimore in 2021 before retiring in early 2022.

    Caleb Jones, Green Bay Packers, 6’9″

    A bit of a stretch here because Caleb Jones hasn’t yet seen the field. But the Packers signed him in 2022, and they or someone else just might need him again. The right tackle weighs in at a robust 370 pounds. As a college junior, his Indiana Hoosiers led the Big Ten in the fewest sacks allowed per game.

    Harold Carmichael, Philadelphia Eagles, 6’8″

    Harold Carmichael was ahead of his time. Or perhaps he was one of the best of his era. Or both.

    The giant wideout became one of the greatest Eagles skill players ever. He finished his career No. 5 all-time in catches and No. 7 in TD receptions. He retired as his team’s all-time leader in catches, receiving yards, receiving scores, and total scores.

    Jared Veldheer, Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals, 6’8″

    A third-round draft pick in 2010, offensive tackle Jared Veldheer used his size to help five NFL teams: primarily the Raiders and Cardinals, followed briefly by the Broncos, Packers, and Colts.

    MORE: Oldest NFL Players Ever Drafted

    He started 114 games, during which he recovered three of his team’s fumbles — including a critically important one in the fourth quarter of a Week 14 win with the Cardinals in that team’s playoff-bound season.

    Dan McGwire, Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins, 6’8″

    The younger brother of Major League Baseball’s Mark McGwire, Dan McGwire played in the NFL for five seasons, including four with the Seahawks. The former first-round pick couldn’t build on his extraordinary college success at the NFL level. In fairness, it didn’t help that Seattle struggled to build a team around him — in particular, a mostly Brian Blades-or-bust receiving corps.

    Who Was the Tallest NFL Player of All Time?

    As highlighted above, defensive tackle Richard Sligh was the tallest NFL player of all time, standing at exactly seven-feet tall. A 10th-round pick in 1967, he remains the tallest to this day, despite the gradual increase in the average height of American men since then.

    Who Is the Tallest Player Currently in the NFL?

    Dan Skipper remains the tallest person still playing in the NFL. Currently on the Lions, he has been a steady contributor in this league for years.

    Related Articles