The Tallest NFL Players In History & Active
Football seems like the type of sport where height would be a huge factor, and most people probably assume every player is ridiculously tall. And in some cases it is true but there is more to football than being tall. Some of the tallest football players in history had mediocre careers, and their height did nothing to help them. While others thrive not just because of their height but overall skill and talent. Here are the tallest NFL Players in history and today
Top 15 Tallest NFL Players Ever
|Player||Height ft/Inches Position Status|
|Richard Sligh||7’2 Defensive Tackle Retired|
|Morris Stroud||6’10 Tight End Retired|
|Dan Skipper||6’10 Offensive Tackle Active|
|Jonathan Ogden||6’9 Offensive Tackle Retired|
|Ed Jones||6’9 Defensive End Retired|
|Demar Dotson||6’9 Offensive Tackle Retired|
|Alejandro Villanueva||6’9 Offensive Tackle Retired|
|Kolton Miller||6’9 Offensive Tackle Retired|
|Dan McGwire Stone Forsythe||6’8 Quarterback Retired 6’8 Offensive Tackle Active|
|Harold Carmichael||6’8 Wide Receiver Retired|
|Jared Veldheer Mike McGlinchey||6’8 Offensive Tackle Retired 6’8 Offensive Tackle Active|
|Levine Toilolo||6’8 Tight End Active|
|Connor McDermot||6’8 Offensive Tackle Active|
Richard Sligh – 7’2 (213cm) | Oakland Raiders
Richard Sligh was born on August 18,1944 and at 7 ‘2 he is the tallest NFL player in history till this day. He went to college at North Carolina Central University where he was on the Dean’s list for high academic achievements. He went in the 10th round in the NFL/AFL draft and was on the Oakland Raiders. Richard only played eight games in his NFL career which was short-lived. Richard played one season in the NFL. He passed away on December 23, 2008 at the age of 64.
Morris Stroud Jr. – 6’10 (208cm) | Kansas City Chiefs
Morris Stroud Jr. was born on May 17, 1946, and is the second tallest player in NFL history, and the tallest tight end in NFL history. Morris went to college at Clark Atlanta University where he played basketball instead of football. Despite having little to no experience as a football player the Chiefs head coach Hank Stram picked him in the third round of the NFL 1969 Draft. Morris ended his career after five seasons catching 54 passes for 977 yards, and seven touchdowns.
While he didn’t stand out as a tight end, Morris shined as a special teams player. He was known for blocking field goals using a method where he lined up under the goalpost and tried to deflect the ball as it came down. Thanks to Morris a new NFL rule was created nicknamed the “Stroud Rule.” The rule stated no players were allowed to leap up to deflect a kick as it passed above the crossbar of a goal post. If a player did break the rule the referee was allowed to award the opposing team three points. Morris passed away on October 17, 2016.
Dan Skipper – 6’10 (208cm) | Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Detroit Lions
Dan Skipper was born on September 20, 1994. He attended Ralston Valley High School where he played football, and earned 5A all state recognition in his senior year. He helped take his high school football team to the semifinals leading to multiple scholarship offers. Dan chose to go to college at the University of Arkansas. In college Dan blocked three field goal attempts as a freshman setting a record, and in his final three years in college. He started all 13 games each season earning an All-SEC honorable mention in his sophomore year, but would be named All-SEC in his junior and senior year. Despite all his accomplishments in high-school and college.
Dan went undrafted in the 2017 draft and many blamed it on a chronic blood condition that surfaced in his prospect evaluation. Dan has struggled to see his NFL career take off, spending
most of his time on the practice squad for the teams he’s played for. But when he stepped up for the Detroit Lions in their time of need, helping the team secure a win over the Commanders. He impressed head coach Dan Campbell and the entire Lion’s fanbase leading to the NFL team signing Dan Skipper to the active roster.
Jonathan Ogden – 6’9 (206cm) | Baltimore Ravens
Jonathan Ogden was born on July 31, 1974. Jonathan excelled at not only football in high school, but also track and field. He was a high school All-American in both sports. Jonathan chose to attend the University of Los Angeles over the University of Florida because the UCLA Bruins football coaches agreed to let him participate in track and field alongside football. He had many achievements in his college career helping his team reach the Pac-10 Championship and the Rose Bowl. During his junior and senior year Jonathan only gave up two sacks. It was his father who convinced to let UCLA switch him from right to left tackle in college. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft. Jonathan had an impressive NFL career being named All-Pro four times, becoming a 11-time Pro Bowler at left tackle.
The only year he didn’t participate in the Pro Bowl was his rookie season. He caught two touchdown passes, recovered ten fumbles, and recorded ten tackles. Jonathan got a Super Bowl ring when the Ravens defeated the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. Jonathan announced his retirement in 2008, and is considered to be one of the best tackles in NFL history. When the Baltimore Ravens went back to the Super Bowl in 2013 against the San Francisco 49ers. Jonathan served as the team’s honorary captain.
Ed Jones – 6’9 (206cm) | Dallas Cowboys
Ed Jones was born on February 23, 1951. Ed attended Merry High School where he played baseball and basketball. In his high school career he only got to play three football games, because his school didn’t support football till his senior year. But he did excel at basketball earning All-American honors and several scholarship offers from Division 1 (NCAA) programs. Ed also had offers from Major League Baseball to play first base. He was a natural athlete. He fought in a Golden Gloves boxing match knocking his opponent out in less than a minute, but his boxing career came to an abrupt stop.
When his basketball coach saw a video of the fight and made him choose between boxing and basketball. Ed went to college at Tennessee State University signing on to play basketball, but left after two seasons to focus on football. He received his ionic nickname Ed “Too Tall” Jones during his first football practice as his pants didn’t fit, and his teammate commented that. “He was too tall to play football.” Even though Ed was new to the sport it didn’t hinder his playing ability in the slightest. He was a two-time All-American defensive linemen, and played on a team who only lost two games at once. His
college football team won black college football national championships in 1971 and 1973. He was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2013.
Ed was the overall first pick in the 1974 NFL Draft selected by the Dallas Cowboys making him the first football player from a black college to go high in the draft in NFL history. Ed played with Dallas Cowboys at the position of defensive tackle from 1974 through 1978 winning a Super Bowl in the last year. After that he departed from the NFL to pursue a professional boxing career at the age of 28. Ed ended up with a successful boxing career with six professional boxing matches as a heavyweight and winning all of them ending his career with a perfect 6-0. Five out of six were knockouts. He returned to the NFL to play for the Dallas Cowboys in 1980.
He earned All-Pro and went to the Pro-Bowl three more times in his NFL career from 1981 to 1983. His skill of batting down passes convinced the NFL to make it an official stat. He never missed a single game throughout his fifteen seasons in the NFL setting the record for any Cowboys player. Ed is credited with 106 quarterback sacks, ranking him third in Cowboys history, and he is the fifth leading tackler in franchise history with 1,032. Ed retired from the NFL at the end of the 1989 season.
Demar Dotson – 6’9 (206cm) | Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos
Demar Dotson was born on October 11, 1985. He played college football at Southern Mississippi. Demar went undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, and later on signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He signed a two-year contract with the Buccaneers in 2012 after beating out Jeremy Trueblood for the starting right tackle job. His career would hit its stride after that with Demar signing a four-year contract extension in 2013. In 2014 after playing right tackle for 14 games that season Demar was moved to left tackle because of Anthony Collins poor performances.
Demar played 12 games in 2017 before being placed on the IR in December. At some point he would leave the Buccaneers and end up signing with the Denver Broncos in 2020 where he played eight games. Demar hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t played for an NFL team since 2020.
Alejandro Villanueva- 6’9 (206cm) | Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens
Alejandro Villanueva was born on September 22, 1988. Alejandro learned to play rugby before growing up living in multiple countries Rhode Island, Spain and Belgium. It was in Belgium he discovered football and preferred it to rugby. He was recruited to play American football by the Army Black Knights while attending SHAPE high school in Belgium. Alejandro played college
football for the Army Black Knights and had three different positions. Left tackle, defensive linemen, and wide receiver but he was originally recruited to play tight end. At the time he was the tallest football player in his country. His journey to the NFL wasn’t an easy one with going
undrafted in the 2010 NFL draft, and failing to make the team after trying out for the Cincinnati Bengals. Not making the NFL led to Alejandro going into the military, and for the next couple of years. He would continue to bounce from trying out for a NFL team to the military. On May 5, 2014 he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles only to be cut on August 23. Alejandro finally found success with the Pittsburgh Steelers after catching the eye of head coach Mike Tomlin who was impressed with his size and athleticism. He went from defensive linemen to offensive tackle and spent time developing his skills.
His journey to becoming a successful offensive tackle was long and hard with him delivering disappointing performances in the 2015 season. He ended that season ranked 11th in offensive pass blocking and 48th overall in offensive tackling. Alejandro hit his stride in 2016 and at the end of the 2017 season. Alejandro was now ranked 24th overall among the best offensive tackles. On September 24, 2017 the Pittsburgh Steelers chose to not take the field for the national anthem.
Alejandro didn’t completely agree with that decision and tried to be the middleman by standing in the tunnel. Where he thought no one could see him, but the cameras caught him anyway. He felt embarrassed by the whole ordeal. On November 25, 2018 he caught his first NFL touchdown pass in a game against the Denver Broncos from Chris Boswell in a fake-field goal play.
Alejandro retired on March 9, 2022 from the NFL after signing a two-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens just a year earlier.
Kolton Miller – 6’9 (206cm) | Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders
Kolton Miller was born on October 9, 1995. He went to college at UCLA where he redshirted his first year. In 2015 Kolton got his first start in a college football game after Conor McDermott got hurt against California. His performance would earn him the starting tackle job from that game on. Kolton was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Despite having back-to-back games in the 2018 season where he gave three sacks in Week 5 and Week 6. Kolton Miller held on to the starting left tackle job. On April 12, 2021 he signed a three-year contract extension with the Raiders worth 54.015 million with 42.6 million guaranteed. Kolton is under contract with Raiders through the 2025 season.
Dan McGwire – 6’8 (203cm) | Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins
Dan McGwire was born on December 18, 1967. Dan attended Claremont High School where his seemingly bright future in a career in football started. He racked up many accolades playing quarterback in his high school years. He was in the Parade Magazine as an All-American, he made Street & Smith’s top 50 list, was presented as an honorable mention as an All-American by
USA today, and was named the state MVP in 1985. Dan finished his senior year with a 61.9 passer rating, 3,172 passing yards, and 33 touchdowns. His high school career stats ended up being 6,559 passing yards and 65 touchdowns. Dan ended up going to the University of Iowa to play college football, but was only there for two seasons before transferring to San Diego University.
The transfer was probably the result of Iowa limiting his playing time. He finished his first season at San Diego University with 3,651 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. His stats improved his final year in college in 1990 with him racking up 3,883 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions earning him first-team all-WAC honors. Dan was a first round draft pick in the 1991 NFL Draft going to the Seattle Seahawks. His NFL career was short-lived and a disappointment compared to the high expectations put on him. Dan played five seasons in the NFL, and at the time Dan was the tallest quarterback in the NFL. He spent most of his career with the Seattle Seahawks playing back-up to Dave Krieg his first season.
The Seahawks planned for Dan to be their future star quarterback, but unfortunately his playing ability never took off. Disappointed and unimpressed by his performance in the preseason of his second season led to the Seahawks demoting Dan to third-string behind Stan Gelbaugh. And in his third season the Seahawks would take another quarterback in the first round making it clear
they had given up on him. In 1994 after an injury took Rick Mirer out for a couple of games giving Dan the opportunity to start a few games. He played three games and went 1-2 completing 51 of 105 passes, for 578 passing yards, and one touchdown. This would finally give the Seahawks the final push they needed to move on for Dan.
He moved on to play for the Miami Dolphins where he wouldn’t even be granted a chance to redeem himself. After one season Dan was out of Miami, and many consider him to be a first-round bust since he was in the same draft class as quarterback legend Brett Favre. Who ended up going in the second round compared to Dan who went was the first quarterback to be taken in the 1991 NFL Draft. After his NFL career ended Dan moved to Reno, Nevada and became an insurance agent and lighting company executive.
Stone Forsythe – 6’8 (203cm) | Seattle Seahawks
Stone Forsythe was born on December 29, 1997. Stone grew up in Winter Garden, Florida and attended high school at West Orange High School. He had offers for Kentucky and Duke, but chose to play college football at the University of Florida. Stone was taken in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He signed a four-year contract worth over 3.6 million his rookie year. He is still currently playing for the Seattle Seahawks.
Harold Carmichael – 6’8 (203cm) | Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys
Harold Carmichael was born on September 22, 1949. He was an all-around athlete who played many sports in his high school years. He attended Williams M. Raines High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He played quarterback on the football team, and trombone in the school’s band. Harold was a walk-on at Southern University and played a total of three different sports. Using his impressive 6 ‘8 height earned him a spot on the basketball team, the track and field team, and football where he was shifted from quarterback to wide receiver.
He was a four-year starter in college, but never led the team in receptions. Harold was selected in the seventh round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent his rookie year playing the tight end position racking up twenty receptions. The next year he went back to wide receiver and in 1973 Harold finally had a breakout year under Mike McCormack. Harold would go on to lead the league with 67 receptions for 1,116 yards, and was tied for fourth with nine touchdowns.
Although he struggled to produce those types of stats again due to not having a reliable quarterback for the next three seasons. His production improved a bit under Ron Jaworski in 1977, and he finished that season with 46 receptions, 665 yards, and seven touchdowns. He was elected to four Pro Bowls in his NFL career. From 1973 to 1983 Harold led NFL receivers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. At 6’8 Harold is considered to be the tallest wide receiver in NFL history. He ended his career with 590 receptions, 8,895 yards, and 79 touchdowns. On January 15, 2020 Harold was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
Jared Veldheer – 6’8 (203cm) | Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts
Jared Veldheer was born on June 14, 1987. Jared attended Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was named Most Valuable Linemen, and also played two years of varsity basketball. He went to Hillsdale College where he would become the co-captain of the football team in 2008 leading to the American Football Coaches Association naming him First-team All-American in 2009.
Jared was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. After the 2010 preseason Jared was named the starting center Although he would change positions multiple times with the Raiders going to left tackle midseason. Jared had a successful NFL career despite having to deal with multiple injuries. He came out of retirement twice to play again, and his career would end on a tough note. After Jared was suspended on May 27, 2021 for violating the league’s performance-drug enhancing policy, he admitted the drug test was positive from Clomiphene and retired from the NFL for good this time.
Mike McGlinchey – 6’8 (203cm) | San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos
Mike McGlinchey was born on January 12, 1995. He attended two different high schools where he played both football and basketball. Mike committed to Notre Dame to play college football. Mike was a redshirt in his first year at Notre Dame electing not to compete. In his second year Mike played in all 13 games starting in one. In 2016 he moved from right tackle to left tackle, and in his fifth year of eligibility Mike chose to return to Notre Dame. He was named team captain and finished college with 39 stars out of 51 games.
The San Francisco 49ers selected Mike in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was the first offensive tackle to be taken in the 2018 NFL Draft and second offensive linemen overall. Mike became a starting right tackle his first year with the 49ers, and signed a four-year 18.34 million dollar contract his rookie season. In the 2021 season Mike suffered a torn quadriceps in Week 9 and ended on the IR list. On March 15, 2023 Mike signed a five-year 87.5 million dollar contract with the Denver Broncos.
Levine Toilolo – 6’8 (203cm) | Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants.
Levine Toilolo was born on July 30, 1991. Levine went to Helix High School in La Mesa where he played for the Helix Highlanders football team. He attended Stanford University and played for Standord Cardinal football team. In his three years Levine racked up 50 receptions for 763 yards and ten touchdowns. He opted out of his senior year to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Levine received an invitation for the NFL Scouting Combine where he gave a disappointing performance. Levine had too many drops and didn’t show off his receiving ability. He did well with the bench press, vertical jump, and broad jump. The Atlanta Falcons held a private workout that Levine attended and he was connected to them throughout the draft process.
Levine was selected by the Falcons in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Levine only got three starts in 16 games in his rookie season as he was a third string tight end behind Tony Gonzalez and Chase Coffman. He ended the season with 11 receptions for 55 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Levine seized the opportunity to be starting tight end in the 2014 NFL season after Tony’s departure for the Atlanta Falcons, and he finished that season with 31 receptions, 238 yards, and two touchdowns after starting in all 16 games.
After an underwhelming performance Levine spent the next couple of seasons with the Falcons as a backup tight-end. The Falcons released Levine on March 2, 2018 after signing him to a 3-year 12 million dollar contract extension just a year earlier. Levine struggled to find another permanent home with another team after that bouncing from team to team. Levine is currently a free agent right now.
Conor McDermott – 6’8 (203cm) | New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets
Conor McDermott was born on October 19, 1992. Conor played college football at UCLA. He went to the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After being waived by the Patriots on September 2, 2017 Connor went to the Buffalo Bills the next day only to be waived a month later. He was claimed by the New York Jets on October 4, 2019 and signed a one-year contract extension in November 2020.
On December 26, 2021 Conor caught his first NFL touchdown pass from Zach Wilson against the Jacksonville Jaguars to extend the Jet’s lead. He re-signed with the Jets in March 2022 but was released on October 17, 2022. Conor ended up back with the New England Patriots in November where he was named starting right tackle and played in the final six games of the season. Conor signed a two-year contract extension with the New England Patriots on February 22, 2023. He is the younger brother of Kevin McDermott who also attended UCLA and is the former long snapper for the Minnesota Vikings.
Does Height Matter In the NFL?
Many sports professionals would say that height is definitely an important factor in the NFL, but others would argue it’s not a deal breaker. After all, some of the most effective players in the NFL are under 6 ‘0. Not to mention height tends to benefit some positions more than others. For example, it’s a good thing when a quarterback is taller than 6’0. Because it makes it easier for them to see over the linemen, and gives better vision down field.
Height helps wide receivers when going up from a high ball and catching over defenders. In some instances height might not be a good thing which is the case for running backs who tend to be shorter making it harder for them to tackle, and easy to hide behind linemen. All this means is height can be an advantage and also a hindrance depending on the position, and how the player utilizes it.