NFL: Tallest Players in NFL History

Michael DunbarContributor IIIAugust 9, 2011

NFL: Tallest Players in NFL History

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    Is Ed "Too Tall" Jones.. too tall?

    Countless people watch NFL games and usually ponder the following questions:

    "How old is he?"

    "How fast is he?"

    "How short is he?"

    "How tall is he?"

    In fact every year, the Internet gets loaded with questions of the tallest person in the NFL, in NFL history, and on the team.

    Therefore, this slideshow attempts to debunk who is the tallest player at each position.

    Thus, if you guys can find taller players than the ones listed, please let me know and I will add them to the slideshow.

    Also, I combined a couple of positions.

    For example,

    RCB and LCB into CB/DB

    FS and SS into S

    HB and FB into RB

    OLB and MLB into LB

    In addition, I decided not to include KR, PR, and LS because these players usually have another primary position before it. 

    P.S. Please do not request to add the following players:

    Bob Bobinghanger

    Bobby Liver

    Ron Mexico

    Daniel Bosoms

    These are all mythical players that have either been conjured up on Madden or has erroneously been submitted on the Internet as the "truth".

    Without further ado, here are the tallest players at each position.

Quarterback: Dan McGwire

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    Dan McGwire became the tallest QB in NFL history when the Seattle Seahawks drafted 16th overall in the 1991 NFL Draft. At 6'8" and 240 lbs., and the younger brother of then-MLB superstar Mark McGwire, Seahawk fans viewed him as the future QB of the team. 

    Unfortunately, he barely played and when he did, he didn't do that well. 

    The Seahawks would draft Rick Mirer in the 1993 NFL Draft and McGwire would be out of the NFL by 1995. 

Running Back: Brandon Jacobs

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    At 6'4" and 264 lbs., Brandon Jacobs is not only the tallest running backs, he is easily one of the biggest in NFL history too. In fact, he is larger than most linebackers in the NFL. 

    Coincidentally, throughout his career he has been known as a bruising runner with surprising open field speed. 

Wide Receiver: Harold Carmichael

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    If anyone wonders if basketball players like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James could ever make it in the NFL, Harold Carmichael provides the best example for them.

    At 6'8" and 225 lbs., he is the tallest WR in NFL history and he had a good career.

    Throughout his career, he was viewed as a fan favorite, which included being selected as the Philadelphia Eagles Man of the Year in 1980.

    In fact, on the field, he produced three 1,000 receiving yard seasons and was selected to 4 Pro Bowls.

    In his lone Super Bowl appearance in 1980, he led the Eagles with 6 receptions and 91 yards in a loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Tight End: Morris Stroud

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    Leonard Pope is largely considered the tallest TE in the NFL today at 6'8". However, he is not.

    That distinction goes to Morris Stroud, the 6'10" TE drafted out of Clark Atlanta by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 1969 NFL Draft.

    In his five-year career, he would obtain 54 receptions for 977 receiving yards (18.1 yards per reception!) and 7 TDs.

Tackle: Jonathan Ogden

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    At 6'9", Jonathan Ogden is tied with a few others, including Jared Gaither. However, I chose to only put him because JO is in a league of his own. The future Hall of Famer was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 1st round of the 1996 NFL Draft. 

    Over his 12 year career, he would be selected to 11 Pro Bowls, be a 4-time All-Pro, and be considered one of the greatest left tackles in NFL History.

Guard: Robert Gallery

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    At 6'7", Robert Gallery is the largest guard in NFL History. He started his career as a right tackle for a couple of seasons and then was moved to the left tackle position for a season. After a dreadful year at left tackle during the 2006 season, the Raiders decided to move him to the left guard position. 

    Unfortunately, he is considered a "bust" due to his performance at left tackle but he has actually been much better at the left guard position.

    For the past 4 seasons, he has been the starting LG for the Oakland Raiders and just recently signed with the Seattle Seahawks during the 2011 NFL Offseason. 

Center: Jared Veldheer

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    After Samson Satele suffered an injury during the 2010 preseason, Jared Veldheer, at 6'8", became the tallest center in NFL history when he started their opener against the Tennessee Titans. 

    However, he only lasted one game and was moved back to his natural position at right tackle after Satele returned from injury. 

Defensive End: Ed "Too Tall" Jones

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    By now, the Geico commercial  has already been played millions of times on TV if Ed "Too Tall" Jones was.. too tall. 

    However, the commercial was absolutely correct. Ed "Too Tall" Jones was "too tall" for any other defensive linemen in NFL history at 6'9".

    A two-time All-Pro and a member of the "Doomsday defense" for the Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s, he would amass 57 "official" sacks in his career. However, NFL.com has him accumulating an unofficial 106 sacks in his career.

    **Sacks did not become official until the 1982 season. Since his career spanned from 1974-1978; 1980-1989,  his playing career borders both when it was unofficial and official. 

Defensive Tackle: Richard Sligh

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    If you look at the picture, I am definitely sure that he is either #72 or #77. Either way, it still does not question the legitimacy of him playing.  

    At 7'0", Richard Sligh is, officially, the tallest player in NFL history. 

    He was drafted in the 10th round of the 1967 Common Draft by the Oakland Raiders.

    He would last only eight games in his 1967 rookie season but was a reserve when the Raiders went to Super Bowl II.

    Unfortunately, he would last only this season as he would retire at the end of it.

    **Photo courtesy of NCCU Athletics 

Linebacker: Ted Hendricks

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    The 6'7" linebacker was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 2nd round of the 1969 NFL Draft.

    However, size was not a detriment to him as he was an 8-time Pro Bowler and a 4-time All-Pro.

    Moreover, he holds the NFL record for 4 safeties and obtained 26 interceptions in his career.

    However, he is more known as being the leader of the Raiders defense of the late 70s, leading the Raiders defense to the Super Bowl three times during his career.

    His most remarkable season was his only season with Green Bay where he logged five interceptions, seven blocked kicks, and one safety.

    Finally, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.  

Cornerback Lenny Walls

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    At 6'4", Lenny Walls became the tallest cornerback in NFL History but went undrafted during the 2002 NFL Draft.

    The Denver Broncos signed him and he would play four of his six pro seasons with them.

    Throughout his career, despite his size, he only recorded one career interception.  

Safety: Pat Watkins

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    The 6'5" safety was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 5th round of the 2006 NFL Draft. 

    He initially started 9 games during his rookie season and had 3 interceptions. 

    However, since then he has had little to no impact in the NFL. 

Kicker: Mike Vanderjagt & Joe Nedney

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    Both of them were undrafted but they both are also tied as the tallest kickers in NFL history at 6'5". 

    After a noteworthy CFL career, Mike Vanderjagt would sign with the Indianapolis Colts and become the NFL's most accurate kicker at 86.5%.

    In fact, during the 2003 season, he became the only kicker in NFL history to go through the season, including playoffs, without missing a field goal or point-after (Gary Anderson was perfect during the regular season in 1998 but missed a field goal in the playoffs).

    He went 37-37 with field goals and 46-46 in extra points.

    In addition, he went 3-3 with field goals and 12-12 in extra points in the playoffs.  

    Unfortunately, he is more known for his numerous chokes in the playoffs.

     

    As for Nedney, he had a steady career with the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

    However, his career is more notable for the "Twist of Fate" where he missed a potential game-winning field goal against the Steelers in overtime in 2002. However, when a defender hit him, he did a "ballerina-like" turn and fell to the ground. The refs would call "running into the kicker" on the Steelers and he would score the game-winning field goal on the next play.

    Random fact: During his six-year career as a starter with the San Francisco 49ers, his field goal percentage was 86.5%.

    Maybe he should have played his whole career there. 

Punter: Sav Rocca & Brandon Fields

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    At 6'5", Sav Rocca that is also the oldest rookie in NFL history is also the tallest punter in NFL history.

    As for Brandon Fields, he has been a great punter thus far in his career with the Miami Dolphins.

    In fact, he is best known for his 10-punt performance against the New York Jets where he proved that a punter can take over the game. His punts were crucial for field position and helped the Dolphins beat the Jets 10-6 on December 12th, 2010.