It isn’t unusual for tall guys to get involved in athletics at an early age. Many end up on their school basketball team. But, their height is also beneficial in football, especially for linebackers and linemen, because with their height they can also add weight and muscle.
Football notoriously has had tall and large players – taller than 6′ 2″ or 6′ 4″, with some pretty big guys playing professional ball, today. Here are some of the tallest professional players in the history of the game.
Jared Veldheer, 6’8″
Offensive tackle Jared Veldheer signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Patriots in early May of this year. But, a few weeks later, he announced his retirement. “It was easy (decision) because of knowing what my body was telling me, but it was hard because I was leaving a very good situation being with the Patriots,” Veldheer told MLive.com’s Peter J. Wallner of his retirement decision, according to 247 Sports.
The now 33-year-old was first chosen by the Oakland Raiders in the 2010 draft, starting as their center. He played for the team through 2013, followed by three years with the Arizona Cardinals.
He spent 2018 on the Broncos’ roster. The former Hillsdale College offensive lineman, Veldheer earned his way to the AFCA first-team All-Region honors and subsequently, the AFCA first-team All-American honors in 2009.
Harold Carmichael, 6′ 8″
Wide receiver Harold Carmichael played 13 seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles throughout the 1970s and into the early ’80s, and his last season as a Dallas Cowboy in 1984, playing a total in 182 games. To his credit, he appeared in four Pro Bowl games, was 1980’s NFL Man of the Year, and was named to the Eagles Hall of Fame and its 75th-anniversary team. In 1973, he was the NFL receiving yards leader and receptions leader. Quite the NFL resume.
A quarterback in his high school days, Carmichael switched to wide receiver when playing with Southern University. Fifteen years following his retirement from professional ball, he returned to the Eagles as director of Player Development and Alumni for 16 years, followed by one year as Fan Engagement Liaison in 2015. He still works as an ambassador for the team in his retirement.
Jonathan Ogden, 6′ 9″
In the team’s infancy, the Baltimore Ravens chose 6’9″ Jonathan Ogden as their first-ever draft pick in 1996. Perhaps as a thank-you, Ogden remained with the team for all 12 seasons of his professional career. He retired in 2007.
The former UCLA All-American, Ogden wears a ring from the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV win. He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s and is an inductee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Ed “Too Tall” Jones, 6′ 9″
A first-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 1974, Ed Jones played with the team for 15 seasons. The 6′ 9″ defensive end made three All-Pro and three Pro-Bowl sections in the early ’80s and was part of three Super Bowl teams including the Super Bowl XII championship team.
Jones had played college basketball at Tennessee State University leaving the team after two years to concentrate on football. It was there a teammate dubbed him “too tall to play football,” because his pants didn’t fit properly.
Morris Stroud, 6′ 10″
Not too many players have a rule named after them. But, 6’10” tight end Morris Stroud did. Stroud used to stand under the goal post in order to block the opponent’s attempt at a field goal. That is now prohibited by the Stroud Rule.
Stroud was on the Kansas City Chiefs roster from 1969-1974. He was a special teams’ player which is where his attempts of blocking field goals came in. And, while he didn’t play during the ’69 season, he was on the AFL game roster and therefore a winner at Super Bowl IV. Sadly, Stroud passed away in 2016 at the age of 70.
Dan Skipper, 6′ 10″
On the current New England Patriots practice squad, Dan Skipper stands 6’9″ and weighs in at 325 pounds. He was a part of the Super Bowl LII championship team in January 2019. Though, he has yet to see any real NFL action.
Skipper was first signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent in May 2017. He played college football for the Arkansas Razorbacks where he was named Consensus All-American as a freshman, All-SEC Honorable Mention by AP as a sophomore, and the All-SEC Team of ESPN as a junior and senior.
Richard Sligh, 7′ 0″
Standing 7-feet even, Richard Sligh was the tallest player in NFL history. An Oakland Raiders 10th round pick, Sligh only saw one year of action, in 1967, playing eight games when the Raiders won the AFL title. He was on the reserve roster for that year’s Super Bowl II, but did not get to play.
Prior to the AFL, the 300-pound defensive tackle played at North Carolina Central University. Sligh died at the age of 64 in 2008.