Average Height of NFL Defensive Linemen

Average Height of NFL Defensive Linemen (2024)

In the NFL, the defensive line is where much of the game’s action and intensity unfolds. These players, often the unsung heroes of defense, bring a unique combination of size, strength, and agility to the field.

As we gear up for the 2023 NFL season, a simple yet intriguing question came up: Exactly how tall are these defensive powerhouses on average?

To answer this, we dove into the details, analyzing the heights of nearly 250 defensive linemen from the Week 1 rosters. Our aim? To bring you a straightforward, easy-to-digest snapshot of the average height in this crucial and dynamic position.

NFL DL Average Height

The average height of an NFL Defensive Lineman in 2023 is 6’3 3/4″.

However, averages don’t often tell the whole story. I wanted to take a closer look.

So, in an effort to give you an even better idea of how NFL Defensive Linemen stack up, I tallied up how many players are at each specific height – from 5’11” all the way to 6’8″.

Defensive Line Height Scale

HeightNumber of Players

An average height of almost 6’4″ already seems daunting enough, but when you group the entire position by height, it’s even more imposing.

While there are a few players proving that you can technically play the position as short as six foot tall (or less), 6’3″ almost seems to be the cut-off point to play defensive line in the NFL (83% are at least 6’3″).

Which NFL Defensive Linemen are the Tallest?

Curious to know who the 14 guys are at the bottom of the table above? The ones standing 6’7″ or taller?

DeForest Buckner6’7″DT
Raekwon Davis6’7″DT
Aidan Hutchinson6’7″DE
Tanoh Kpassagnon6’7″DE
Arik Armstead6’7″DE
Isaiahh Loudermilk6’7″DE
Calais Campbell6’8″DE

Which Defensive Linemen are the Shortest?

Just as interesting (or maybe even more so) as which guys are the tallest is which guys are actually the shortest.

The 6 shortest defensive linemen (all defensive tackles by the way) in the NFL are all 6’0″ or shorter.

Poona Ford5’11”DT
Calijah Kancey6’0″DT
Grady Jarrett6’0″DT
D.J. Jones6’0″DT
Khalen Saunders6’0″DT
Michael Pierce6’0″DT


The heights of NFL defensive linemen, as exemplified by the players listed, may vary, but each brings a unique blend of power and agility to their role. While some may not always be the tallest on the field, their impact is undeniable.

The defensive line is a critical component of any football team, and understanding the physical attributes of these players helps to appreciate the strategic nuances of the game. Whether they stand at 5’11” or 6’8″, each of these athletes plays a vital role in the defensive strategy, proving that in the NFL, it’s not just height that counts, but how effectively you use it.

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