Monday, 15 Apr 2024

The Advantage of Height in Football Positions

A player’s success on the football field depends on various factors, including strength, speed, athleticism, and the will to win. But did you know that height can also play a crucial role in a player’s ability to excel in certain positions? In this article, we will explore the advantages that tall players have in football and discuss the best positions for them to thrive.

Quarterback: The Aerial Maestro

The quarterback position is widely regarded as the most important in football. The QB touches the ball on every offensive snap, making crucial decisions that often determine their team’s success. A taller quarterback has an advantage when it comes to both seeing over and throwing over offensive and defensive linemen. This increased visibility greatly improves their chances of completing a pass.

According to a study by Bleacher Report, NFL quarterbacks who are taller tend to have higher ratings, with those standing at 6’2″ having the highest rating. Additionally, completion percentages are generally lower for shorter quarterbacks. SportsRec analyzed the height and weight of 114 NFL quarterbacks and found that the average height is over 6 feet 2 inches.


The Tallest Quarterbacks in the NFL 2023

Let’s take a look at the tallest starting quarterbacks in the NFL in 2023:

  1. Justin Herbert: 6′ 6″ (Los Angeles Chargers)
  2. Trevor Lawrence: 6′ 6″ (Jacksonville Jaguars)
  3. Daniel Jones: 6′ 5″ (New York Giants)
  4. Josh Allen: 6′ 5″ (Buffalo Bills)
  5. Ryan Tannehill: 6′ 4″ (Tennessee Titans)
  6. Joe Burrow: 6′ 4″ (Cincinnati Bengals)
  7. Jared Goff: 6′ 4″ (Detroit Lions)
  8. Jordan Love: 6′ 4″ (Green Bay Packers)
  9. Kenny Pickett: 6′ 3″ (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  10. Desmond Ridder: 6′ 3″ (Atlanta Falcons)
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Receivers and Ends: The Aerial Targets

Height can also be advantageous for players who catch passes, such as wide receivers and tight ends. Taller receivers and ends provide a larger target for the quarterback, increasing the chances of successful passes. They also have an advantage in contested situations, as their height allows them to outjump defensive backs for the ball.

Although smaller receivers may have a higher per-catch average, their taller counterparts often have a higher touchdown percentage, as demonstrated by the Bleacher Report study. College coaches tend to recruit receivers with prototypical size, recognizing the advantages that height brings to these positions.

Wide Receiver

Linemen: The Towering Giants

In football, offensive and defensive linemen are known for their size and mass. Height often accompanies the necessary weight and size to play on the line of scrimmage. Defensive linemen particularly benefit from height, as it allows them to bat down passes and make tackles with their extended reach. Offensive linemen, on the other hand, can excel without being excessively tall, especially at the center position.

The tallest position in the NFL is the offensive tackle, with some players listed at an impressive 6 feet 9 inches.

Defensive Backs: Size and Speed

Height can also be an advantage in the defensive backfield, although speed remains a crucial attribute for players in these positions. Taller cornerbacks and safeties have an edge when competing for contested passes, similar to their offensive counterparts. Additionally, their larger size and extended reach improve their tackling ability.

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The average height for an NFL cornerback, according to SportsRec’s analysis of 334 players, is just under 6 feet.


Q: What is the average height of an NFL quarterback?
A: The average height of an NFL quarterback is over 6 feet 2 inches.

Q: Who is the tallest quarterback in the NFL?
A: The tallest NFL quarterback ever is Dan McGwire, standing at 6 feet 8 inches.

Q: Do shorter quarterbacks have a disadvantage?
A: While a lack of height can be offset by other attributes, the statistics show that taller quarterbacks tend to have higher ratings and completion percentages.


Height can give football players a significant advantage in certain positions. Quarterbacks, receivers, linemen, and defensive backs all benefit from the increased visibility, reach, and physicality that height provides. However, it’s important to note that height is not the sole determinant of success in football. Other skills and attributes, such as speed, agility, and decision-making, also play vital roles in a player’s overall performance on the field.

So, whether you’re a towering quarterback or a nimble cornerback, embrace your strengths and make the most of your abilities on the football field!