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The National Football League has served as the home of some of the biggest, most physically imposing specimens ever to play sport.

Those fortunate enough to play in this storied league are usually well built. But there are a few individuals whose size have made their physically impressive teammates and opponents look like non-professional football players. 

With the height to easily be mistaken for a basketball player or a popular wrestler, there have been a handful of giants to grace the strongman league of the NFL. Here are the ten tallest players ever to grace the gridiron’s highest level.  

1. Richard Sligh | 7ft 2in

The tallest player in the history of the NFL is also its only seven-footer. The Newberry, South Carolina native also played baseball in college at North Carolina Central University. 

Sligh was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 10th Round of the 1967 NFL/AFL Draft, and would go on to play eight games in his short professional career. 

2. Marcus Stroud Jr. | 6ft 10in 

The tallest tight end in NFL history, the Miami native attended historic HBCU Clark Atlanta in college before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 1969 NFL Draft with pick 76. 

Stroud would go on to help the Chiefs win an NFL Championship with their victory in Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings on January 11, 1970.

His five-season career lead to Stroud catching 54 passes for 977 yards and seven touchdowns. But Stroud would become a more historical figure on special teams, as he would line up at the goalpost and block opposing team’s field goal attempts under the goal posts. 

The NFL would adopt the “Stroud Rule” after his name, barring teams from doing the move synonymous with him. 

3. Dan Skipper | 6ft 10in 

The tallest active player in the NFL, Skipper has bounced around five teams in his four years professionally. 

Skipper would go undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Dallas Cowboys would give him his first chance in the league, but he only made it to the practice squad before releasing him in the first few weeks of the 2017 season. The Detroit Lions would sign him afterwards, but he would stay with the Motown team for less than a year. 

Short unsuccessful stops with the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and Houston Texans would then lead to a second time last season with the Lions for the offensive tackle. Skipper would even actually play defensive tackle for nine plays in the Lions final game of the 2020 season against the Vikings. 

4. Ed “Too Tall” Jones | 6ft 9in  

The memorable Dallas Cowboys stalwart would not only become a timeless force on the football field, but also a 6-0 part time boxer. 

After a great career at Tennessee State University, Jones would become the No. 1 overall pick of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Cowboys, who had the top pick for the first time. 

A Super Bowl XII champion, the tallest man to play the defensive end position in the NFL became an All-Pro and Pro Bowler three straight years, from 1981 to 1983. Jones credited the best play of his career to taking two years off from football to become a heavyweight boxer, going 6-0 before returning to the Cowboys.

The 1974-1978 and 1980-1989 intervals were Jones’ pro career, and he recently premiered in a humorous GEICO commercial. 

5. Demar Dotson | 6ft 9in

For a player not widely known, Dotson has enjoyed a lengthy, respectable career in the NFL. 

Undrafted out of Southern Mississippi in 2009, Dotson would sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unlike most undrafted free agents, Dotson would begin a decade long career with the same team, playing times at both right and left tackle. 

Dotson may consider himself unlucky, as the 35-year-old left Tampa the season they would win the Super Bowl at home. He signed with the Denver Broncos in August 2020 and plans to play his 12th season in the NFL. 

6. Jonathan Ogden | 6ft 9in

One of the greatest players in NFL history, the jolly giant would leave his mark on the game with just one team, the Baltimore Ravens. 

Instrumental in the franchise being a success after being the original Cleveland Browns, Ogden's sensational college career in not only football but track lead to the Ravens to make him their first pick ever by the legendary Ozzie Newsome. 

After a fine rookie season, Ogden would embark on a level of excellence few have ever matched in the sport. He would be selected to the Pro Bowl every season from his second year in 1997, garnering four First-Team All-Pros and five Second-Team All-Pros in an era which he and other legendary tackles Orlando Pace and Walter Jones dominated.

And of course, Ogden was an instrumental part in the Ravens winning their first Super Bowl, SB XXXV, in 2001 in a blowout of the New York Giants. He would retire in 2007. 

7. Dan McGwire | 6ft 8in

The tallest quarterback to ever play in NFL history, the San Diego State University standout would be picked 16th overall in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. 

McGwire is considered one of the biggest busts ever, though, as he never became a set starter for the Seahawks in his four years playing in the Northwest.

McGwire would end up signing with the Miami Dolphins for the 1995 season and throw just one pass as a backup to Hall of Famer Dan Marino. That would be his last time in the NFL. 

8. Cornelius Lucas | 6ft 8in 

Similar to Dan Skipper, the 29-year-old has become a journeyman offensive tackle in his current time as an NFL player. 

Undrafted out of Kansas State in 2014, Lucas has played for five teams in six seasons. And another thing in common with Skipper was the fact that the Detroit Lions would be the first team to take a chance on him. Lucas would play in 35 games with the Lions, starting six of those times over the course of three seasons. 

After being waived by the Lions before the start of the 2017 season, Lucas would go on to play for four different times over the same amount of years, registering time with the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, the Chicago Bears and the Washington Football Team, respectively. He is currently a Washington player. 

9. Jared Veldheer | 6ft 8in

The Grand Rapids, Michigan strong man has lasted a decade in the NFL. 

Excelling at Division II college Hillsdale, Veldheer would be selected 69th overall in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. A behemoth of an offensive tackle, Veldheer would be productive enough for the Raiders to secure a five-year, $35m deal with the Arizona Cardinals for the 2014 season. Injuries would mess up his 2016 and 2017 season, and the Cardinals decided to trade Veldheer to the Denver Broncos a sixth round pick in the 2018 Draft. 

More injuries would lead to a single-season stay in the Mile High for Veldheer before the New England Patriots picked him for 2019. Seemingly done with football however, Veldheer would retire only a week later from the game. He would have second thoughts of coming back and decided a return to play was for him. The Patriots waived him and the Green Bay Packers picked him up for the rest of the season. 

Once again, Veldheer would retire from the sport, only to comeback for a second time and join the Indianapolis Colts before the NFL Playoffs in 2021. After the Colts lost to the Buffalo Bills, Veldheer was signed a few days later by the Green Bay Packers due to him officially being on the Colts practice squad. That rare, unique move would have made Veldheer the first player in NFL history to play with two different teams in the playoffs. But the veteran tackle would have to be placed on the Covid-19 reserve list and did not play the rest of the playoffs. 

Veldheer is currently a free agent.

10. Harold Carmichael | 6ft 8in

The tallest wide receiver to ever play in the NFL, it would be a wonderful, successful career for the Jacksonville native. 

A standout at HBCU powerhouse Southern University, Carmichael would be drafted in the seventh round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles at pick No. 161. 

In the city of Brotherly Love, where many players could draw the wrath of the passionate Philly crowd and receive enemy hate, Carmichael became an indelible figure to remember forever when you learn about the city’s sports history. A four-time Pro Bowler and three times second-team All-Pro, Carmichael would lead the NFL in both receiving catches and yards in 1973. His excellence with the Eagles led to Carmichael being named on the NFL’s All-Decade in the 1970s. 

A top receiver on the field, Carmichael was a class act off the field, winning the NFL Man of the Year Award in 1980. After 12 seasons with the Eagles, the gigantic receiver would spend the 1984 season first with the New York Jets and then the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams were hoping Carmichael would give their receiving game a needed boost of production, but there was nothing left in the tank for him to give. 

Carmichael would retire in November 1984 and, after years and years where he didn’t think he would ever get in the Hall of Fame, the lengthy receiver got the call of being inducted into Canton as part of the 2020 class. 

Tallest NFL players in the 2021 season

1. Alejandro Villanueva | 6ft 9in

2. Demar Dotson | 6ft 9in

3. Margus Hunt | 6ft 8in

4. Calais Campbell | 6ft 8in

5. Andrus Peat | 6ft 7in