How Tall Is the Average NFL Quarterback?

Since the beginning of the game, football spectators and coaches have had an image in their minds of what an NFL quarterback should look like. Many people have said that NFL quarterbacks should be tall, stating that shorter quarterbacks wouldn’t be able to see over the offensive line. These days, people tend to have a more flexible idea of what NFL quarterbacks (and sports figures in general) can look like, and many shorter QBs have had immense success in the league. Learn more about the average height of NFL quarterbacks, and how that can affect their game, below. 

Who are the tallest NFL quarterbacks?

There have been numerous tall NFL quarterbacks in the league’s history, but the 6 feet, 8 inches Dan McGuire remains the tallest to play the position. Unfortunately, his career didn’t go as well as he, and many of his fans, had hoped. He only ended up starting in five games over his five-season career, from 1991 to 1995. The second-tallest NFL quarterback is a tie between Brock Osweiler (2012–2018) and Frank Patrick (1970–1972) at 6 feet, 7 inches. 

Neither of those QBs had much success either. Even still, being tall can provide numerous advantages for NFL quarterbacks. Taller quarterbacks truly do have a better field of vision than shorter ones, and their long arms tend to allow them to throw the ball further than average-height QBs. There are simply some throws that tall guys can make that are impossible for shorter ones to execute, specifically short passes that are thrown low to receivers to stay out of reach of the defense. 

On the other hand, taller quarterbacks experience more sacks on average than shorter ones, according to Bleacher Report. This could be attributed to the superior speed smaller quarterbacks usually have, giving them an advantage when it comes to avoiding sacks. Two of the tallest QBs currently in the league include Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert, both of whom are 6 feet, 6 inches. 

How tall is the average NFL quarterback?

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs shouts to the crowd
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs shouts to the crowd. | David Eulitt/Getty Images

According to Men’s Journal, the average height of NFL quarterbacks sits around 6 feet, 3 inches.  The average height of American men in general, according to Healthline, is about 5 feet, 9 inches.

Patrick Mahomes, Zach Wilson, Joe Burrow, and Derek Carr are all 6 feet, 3 inches, making them the perfectly average height of NFL QBs. Quarterbacks of this height may have some advantages over those that are exceptionally taller or shorter than the average NFL QB, as many of them are still relatively quick, have a medium-range throwing arm, and are sacked less than taller QBs. 

Other quarterbacks near the average height include Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, and Andy Dalton, who all stand at 6 feet, 2 inches, and Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Jared Goff, who are all 6 feet 4 inches. 

Who are the shortest NFL quarterbacks?

Right now, the shortest quarterback in the league is Kyler Murray at 5 feet, 10 inches, although Russel Wilson stands close at 5 feet, 11 inches. Both quarterbacks have been praised for their speed, agility, and both still possess strong arms that can complete passes way down the field. Murray is considered the only NFL QB under 6 feet to be drafted in the first round. 

Other “short” NFL quarterbacks include Drew Brees and Michael Vick at 6 feet even, and Doug Flute with a height of 5 feet, 10 inches, according to National Football Post. The shortest NFL quarterback of all time title is tied between Eddie LeBaron and Davey O’Brien, who both stood at 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

Shorter quarterbacks do tend to have less range with their throwing arm, and their field of vision may not be as wide and far as taller QBs. Despite it all, perceptions are changing about how a QB should look. Don’t be surprised if more QBs in the future end up standing less than six feet tall. 

RELATED: Oldest NFL Quarterbacks: 15 Who Played Into Their 40s