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Who Is The Tallest Running Back in The NFL?

We all know that American football is famous for players with size and strength. But in football history, there are/were players who were tall enough to play professional basketball too. So who is the tallest running back in the NFL? Brandon Jacobs stands at 6’4″ and 264 lbs and is considered the tallest running back. Not only that, Jacobs is also one of the biggest players in NFL history as well. 

As a matter of fact, he is larger than most linebackers in the NFL. At the same time, throughout his entire career, he has been known as a bruising runner with surprising open field speed. 

Brandon Jacobs’s Background 

Brandon Christopher Jacobs, born on the 6th of July 1982, is a former American football running back. In the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, he was drafted by the New York Giants and he spent the majority of his career with the said team. 

As a running back for the Giants, he won two Super Bowl rings in seven seasons, which were both against the New England Patriots.[1] Before returning to New York for his final season, he also played one season for the San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at Coffeyville, Auburn, and Southern Illinois.

Jacobs was renowned for being larger and heavier than most NFL running backs, standing 6’4″ tall and weighing 264. Not only that, but he runs the 100 meters in 10.82 seconds and the 200 meters in 21.59 seconds as well. In addition, he holds the franchise record for most career rushing touchdowns, as well as ranking fourth-most in career rushing yards.

Below are his career highlights, awards, and NFL statistics:

  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XLII, XLVI)
  • Rushing yards: 5,094
  • Rushing average: 4.5
  • Rushing touchdowns: 60
  • Receptions: 82
  • Receiving yards: 743
  • Receiving touchdowns: 4

Some of The Tallest NFL Players in NFL By Position

If you want to know who are the tallest players in NFL history aside from Brandon Jacobs, below is a list (by position) to cover that, together with a few information about them. 

#1 Quarterback: Dan McGwire, 6’8”

In the 1991 NFL Draft, Dan McGwire was the 16th overall pick of the Seattle Seahawks. He is the brother of baseball home run king Mark McGwire. [2] He is the one that had Brett Favre taken in the second round because he was the first quarterback taken in that draft class.

Instead of becoming the Seahawks’ quarterback of the future, McGwire only played four seasons, which are 12 total games overall. He only had three career starts and the Seahawks went 1-2. After four years with the team, McGwire played one more season for the Miami Dolphins.

Also read about the shortest quarterback in the NFL in this article.

#2 Wide Receiver: Harold Carmichael, 6’8”

Harold Carmichael played center for the Southern University Basketball college varsity team as well because of the fact that he stands at 6’8”. Since football was his true love, after he got picked 161st overall in the 1971 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Carmichael had a 13-year NFL career. In 1987, he was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and an Eagles Hall of Fame inductee.

#3 Center: Jared Veldheer 6’8”

After Jared Veldheer spent his first four NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders, he signed a 5-year deal worth $35M with the Arizona Cardinals in 2014. In 2010, he was picked by the Raiders (69th overall) following a standout college career at Hillsdale College. In 2009, Veldheer earned All-American honors at Hillsdale. Also, he was the school’s offensive lineman of the year in 2007 and 2008.

#4 Linebacker: Michael McAdoo 6’7”

In 2011, Michael McAdoo signed with the Baltimore Ravens and was part of the title team that won Super Bowl XLVII in 2012. McAdoo played college football with a football scholarship at the University of Carolina.

The NCAA declared him permanently ineligible for academic misconduct due to plagiarism in 2011. Although he filed a lawsuit against the NCAA and the University of North Carolina, his reinstatement request was still denied.

#5 Safety: Pat Watkins 6’5”

In the 2006 NFL Draft, Pat Watkins—the tallest safety in the NFL —was the Dallas Cowboys’ fifth round pick (53rd overall). The Canadian safety played college football at Florida State University, where he played 49 consecutive games.

During the 2006 NFL Scouting Combine, Watkins clocked 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash. In addition, he played three seasons for the Cowboys and one for the San Diego Chargers.

Final Words 

Height is not only a requirement for basketball players, but it is beneficial in football as well. Most specially for linebackers and linemen because with their height, they can also add weight and muscle. Football has had tall and large players, and some are even taller than 6′ 2″ or 6′ 4”. 

What do you think about this claim? Do you think being tall contributes a lot to be a successful football player? Let us know what you think!


 1. “New England Patriots – Wikipedia.” Accessed 25 Jul. 2020.
2.  “Mark McGwire – Wikipedia.” Accessed 25 Jul. 2020.

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