Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

The Average Height of NFL Players: A Position Breakdown

Football is a sport known for its physicality and demanding nature. But have you ever wondered how tall NFL players need to be to compete at the highest level? In this article, we’ll breakdown the average height of each position in the NFL, giving you a glimpse into the physical requirements of the game.

average football player height

According to official data from Pro Football Reference, the average height of an NFL player for the 2022-23 season is 6 feet 2.16 inches (188.35 centimeters). This puts NFL players several inches shorter than NBA players, but about a third of an inch taller than MLB players. It’s also worth noting that the average NFL player is over 5 inches taller than the average American male.

Now, let’s dive into the average height of each position in the NFL.

Average Height of an NFL Quarterback

Kyler Murray is the smallest QB in the league

The average height of an NFL quarterback is 6 feet 2.49 inches (189.19 centimeters) for the 2022-23 season. While quarterbacks are typically tall enough to see over the offensive line, we’ve seen smaller players like 5’10” Kyler Murray make an impact under center. In fact, Murray is 8 inches shorter than one of the league’s tallest starting quarterbacks, Justin Herbert (6’6″).

Average Height of an NFL Running Back

Derrick Henry is the biggest running back in the NFL

The average height of an NFL running back is 6 feet 0.59 inches (184.37 centimeters) for the 2022-23 season. Running backs come in all shapes and sizes, with room for both diminutive pass-catchers and big-bodied bruisers. For example, 5’5″ Deuce Vaughn is the shortest active NFL player, while 6’3″ Derrick Henry is the tallest and heaviest back in the league.

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Average Height of an NFL Wide Receiver

Deonte Harty is the smallest receiver in the league

The average height of an NFL wide receiver is 6 feet 1.88 inches (187.66 centimeters) for the 2022-23 season. Wide receivers come in a wide range of heights, with a 12-inch difference between the shortest and tallest players. Interestingly, the average height of wide receivers has been steadily increasing since 1990, after a decade-long trend of getting smaller each year.

Average Height of an NFL Tight End

At 6’8″, Zach Gentry is the biggest tight end in the NFL

The average height of an NFL tight end is 6 feet 3.1 inches (190.76 centimeters). Tight ends are known for their versatility, requiring a mix of blocking, route-running, and pass-catching abilities. This position has seen former basketball players excel, as athleticism is highly valued. At 6’8″, Zach Gentry is the tallest tight end in the league, while 6’0″ Connor Heyward is one of the shortest.

Average Height of an NFL Offensive Lineman

The average height of an NFL offensive lineman is 6 feet 3.55 inches (191.89 centimeters). This encompasses all positions along the offensive line, including center, guard, and tackle. Offensive linemen must possess size and strength to handle powerful pass-rushers and massive defensive tackles. The smallest offensive lineman in the league is the 6’1″ undrafted guard Aaron Brewer, while the tallest is the 6’9″ Dan Skipper.

Average Height of an NFL Defensive Lineman

3x DPOY Aaron Donald is only 6’1″

The average height of an NFL defensive lineman is 6 feet 2.93 inches (190.33 centimeters) for the 2022-23 season. Despite facing off against some of the NFL’s largest athletes, defensive linemen don’t necessarily need to be tall to be successful. Aaron Donald, a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, stands at just 6’1″. The shortest defensive lineman, Poona Ford, is 5’11”, while Calais Campbell stands tall at 6’8″.

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Average Height of an NFL Linebacker

LB Quincy Williams is 5’11”

The average height of an NFL linebacker is 6 feet 2.62 inches (189.53 centimeters). Linebackers in today’s NFL come in various sizes and play styles. Some are run-stoppers, others are athletic pass-rushers, and some excel in coverage. Quincy Williams, at 5’11”, is one of the smallest linebackers in the league, while 6’7″ Anthony Nelson is among the tallest.

Average Height of an NFL Defensive Back

The average height of an NFL defensive back is 6 feet 1.24 inches (186.03 centimeters) for the 2022-23 season. Defensive backs are responsible for covering the skill positions, which consist of the shiftiest and fastest players on the field. Due to their role, defensive backs can be on the smaller side. There are 174 defensive backs listed under 6 feet tall, with 5’8″ Marcus Jones being the shortest and 6’4″ Tariq Woolen among the tallest.

Average Height of NFL Special Teamers

Veteran kicker Cairo Santos is 5’8″

Special teamers, including long-snappers, kickers, and punters, vary in height. Here are the averages for each position:

  • The average height of an NFL long-snapper is 6 feet 2.03 inches (188.04 centimeters).
  • The average height of an NFL kicker is 6 feet 1.47 inches (186.6 centimeters).
  • The average height of an NFL punter is 6 feet 2.4 inches (188.96 centimeters).

At 5’8″, kicker Cairo Santos is the shortest pure special teams player in the NFL, while 6’6″ punter J.K. Scott is the tallest.

What About Undersized Football Players?

The Shortest NFL Players in 2022 and through NFL history

While the average heights give us an idea of the physical requirements in the NFL, it’s essential to remember that there have been plenty of smaller players who have thrived in the league. For example, Boston Scott, standing at 5-foot-6, overcame early setbacks and went on to score 17 touchdowns in his first five NFL seasons. These underdog stories remind us that heart and determination can overcome physical limitations.

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In conclusion, the average height of NFL players varies across positions, with each role requiring different physical attributes. Whether tall or short, players find success by leveraging their unique strengths and skill sets. If you’re an aspiring football player, remember that it’s not just about height but the size of your heart that truly matters.

FAQs

Q: Are NFL players taller than NBA players?
A: On average, NBA players are taller than NFL players. However, the physical demands and skill sets required in each sport are vastly different.

Q: Has the average height of NFL players changed over time?
A: The average height of NFL players has remained relatively consistent over the years, with slight variations depending on the position.

Q: Can undersized players succeed in the NFL?
A: Absolutely! There have been many undersized players who have achieved great success in the NFL, proving that heart and determination can outweigh physical limitations.

Q: How can I keep up with the latest NFL statistics and player information?
A: You can visit Pesstatsdatabase, a reliable source for comprehensive NFL player data and statistics.