15 Shortest NFL Players in History

Shortest-NFL-Players-In-History
Shortest-NFL-Players-In-History (Source: That One Sports Show)

NFL players are some of the biggest, strongest, and fastest athletes in the world.

Since its origination in 1920, the NFL has recruited the biggest and strongest athletes it could find. NFL is a big men league, and big men conquer and dominate.

Nonetheless, every once in a while, a few small guys come and break the stereotypes.

With their fast, agile, quick gameplays off the block and phenomenal records, these little players have stood tall and greatest in NFL.

Shortest-NFL-Players
Shortest NFL Players (Source: SportsGeeks)

Where the average height for NFL players is 6’2″, these little heroes stand 5’11” and under.

So, without further ado, let’s learn about such 15 shortest NFL players in history.

Quick Overview

Shortest NFL Players Height (in feet and inches)
1. Jack Shapiro 5’1″
2. Trindon Holliday 5’5″
3. Darren Sproles 5″6″
4. Tarik Cohen 5’6″
5. Jacquizz Rodgers 5’6″
6. Maurice Jones-Drew 5’7″
7. Mark McMillian  5’7″
8. Barry Sanders  5’8″
9. Jim Leonhard 5’8″
10. Bob Sanders 5’8″
11. Steve Smith Sr.  5’9″
12. Wes Welker 5’9″
13. Antoine Winfield 5’9″
14. Kyler Murray 5’10”
15. Elvis Dumervil 5’11”

Shortest NFL Players in History

The information and details has been compiled from the trusted sites on the web including NFL.com and Wikipedia.

15. Elvis Dumervil

Born: January 19, 1984 (38 years)

Height: 5’11”

Position: Defensive End

Team: Baltimore Ravens, San Fransisco 49ers.

Roster Status: Retired

Holding the 15th spot is one of the most dominating players in NFL history.

Standing at 5 ft 11 inches, Elvis Dumervil is a former defensive end in NFL who played for 12 seasons.

From 2006 to 2012, he played with Denver Broncos and from 2013 to 2016 with Baltimore Ravens. In 2017, Dumervil played his last game with the San Fransisco 49ers.

Elvis-Dumervil
Elvis Dumervil (Source: Wikipedia)

In 2014, Dumervil earned Ravens with the highest sacks record of 17.

During his NFL career, Dumervil made 5 Pro Bowl appearances, had 365 tackles, 105.5 sacks, 23 forced fumbles, and 1 interception.

Moreover, he was twice First-team All-Pro and 2005 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

14. Kyler Murray

Born: August 7, 1997 (24 years)

Height: 5’10”

Position: Quarterback

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Roster Status: Active

Holding the 14th spot is the shortest quarterback from Arizona Cardinals.

In 2019, Kyler Murray became the shortest quarterback to be drafted in the first round in NFL history with the Arizona Cardinals.

With the Cardinals, the 5 feet 10 inches NFL star made two Pro Bowl appearances in 2020 and 2021.

Kyler-Murray
Kyler Murray (Source: Wikipedia)

Till now, Murray has a touchdown-pick record of 70-34, 11,480 yards passed, 1,786 rushing yards, 93.9 passer rating, and 20 rushing touchdowns.

Moreover, Murray was the 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and PFWA All-Rookie Team.

13. Antoine Winfield Jr.

Born: August 16, 1988 (23 years)

Height: 5’9”

Position: Safety

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Roster Status: Active

Antoine Winfield Jr., standing at 5 feet 9 inches, is safety for NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Besides, the Buccaneers selected him in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft.

Till now, he has a record of 182 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three picks, and 12 pass defenses.

Antoine-Winfield-Jr.
Antoine Winfield Jr. (Source: Tampa Bay Times)

Moreover, Winfield played a huge role in the Buccaneer’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs with 31-9 in the 2021 Super Bowl LV. For which, he was named as the Super Bowl LV Champion.

Further, Winfield was the 2020 PFWA All-Rookie Team.

12. Wes Welker

Born: May 1, 1981 (40 years)

Height: 5’9″

Position: Wide Receiver

Team: San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos.

Roster Status: Retired

Wesley Caster Welker, standing at 5 feet 9 inches, is a former wide receiver in NFL.

He played from 2004 to 2015 with teams like Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos.

Currently, Welker serves as the receiver coach for Miami Dolphins.

During his time in the field, Welker had a record of 903 catches, 9,924 receiving yards, 6,722 return yards, and 50 touchdowns.

Wes-Welker
Wes Welker (Source: Playerswiki)

Besides, he was 2004 PFWA All-Rookie Team, thrice NFL receptions leader, and made five Pro Bowl appearances.

Welker set the all-time record for the Dolphins with 166 kickoff returns, 3,756 kickoff return yards, and 127 punt returns.

Moreover, he is the first receiver with three 110 reception seasons and five 100 reception seasons in NFL history.

11. Steve Smith Sr.

Born: May 12, 1979 (42 years)

Height: 5’9″

Position: Wide Receiver

Team: Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens.

Roster Status: Retired

Holding the 11th spot is one of the most productive wide receivers of the 21st century.

Steve Smith Sr., standing at 5 feet 9 inches, is a former wide receiver in NFL who played for 16 seasons.

From 2001 to 2013, he played with Carolina Panthers, and from 2014 to 2016 with Baltimore Ravens.

Steve-Smith-Sr.
Steve Smith Sr. (Source: Sports Illustrated)

Besides, Smith led the Panthers with 67 touchdowns, 836 catches, and 12,197 receiving yards in 2005.

With Panthers, he made five Pro Bowl appearances and was 2005 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

During his retirement, Smith ranked 7th in NFL all-purpose yards with 19,180, 14,731 receiving yards, 12th with 1,031 receptions, and 25th with 81 receiving touchdowns.

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10. Bob Sanders

Born: February 24, 1981 (40 years)

Height: 5’8”

Position: Safety

Team: Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers.

Roster Status: Retired

Standing at 5 feet 8 inches, Diamond Sanders, famous as “Bob,” is a former safety player in NFL who played for eight seasons.

From 2004 to 2010, Bob played for the Indianapolis Colts. In 2011, he played his last game with San Diego Chargers.

Bob-Sanders
Bob Sanders (Source: NJ.com)

During the Super Bowl XLI postseason, Bob played a huge role in the victory of the Colts against the Chicago Bears with 29-17 in 2007. For which, he was named the Super Bowl Champion and NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Similarly, Bob has twice appeared in Pro Bowl games and was twice First-team All-Pro in 2005 and 2007.

During his time in the field, Bob earned 307 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, six picks, three fumble recoveries, and a touchdown.

9. Jim Leonhard

Born: October 27, 1982 (39 years)

Height: 5’8″

Position: Saftey

Team: Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Denver Broncos.

Roster Status: Retired

Standing at 5 feet 8 inches, Jim Leonhard is a former safety player of the NFL who played for ten seasons.

From 2005 to 2014, he played for teams like Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, and Denver Broncos.

Jim-Leonhard
Jim Leonhard (Source: Cheesehead TV)

Currently, Leonhard serves as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the Wisconsin Badgers.

During his NFL career, Leonhard had 429 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 36 pass defenses, 14 picks, and two forced fumbles.

8. Barry Sanders

Born: July 16, 1968 (53 years)

Height: 5’8″ 

Position: Running Back

Team: Detroit Lions

Roster Status: Retired

Holding the 8th spot is one of the most elusive runners in NFL history.

Barry Sanders, standing at 5 feet 8 inches, is a former running back from NFL’S Detroit Lions.

He played for the Lions from 1989 to 1998.

Barry-Sanders
Barry Sanders (Source: Forbes)

During his time in the field, Sanders made 10 Pro Bowl appearances and earned 15,269 rushing yards, 352 catches, and 99 rushing touchdowns.

Besides, Sanders led the team in rushing yards four times and was NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1997.

Moreover, he was 1989 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

7. Mark McMillian

Born: April 29, 1970 (51 years)

Height: 5’7″

Position: Cornerback

Team: Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins.

Roster Status: Retired

Standing at 5 ft 7 inches, Mark McMillian, famous as “Mighty Mouse,” is a former cornerback in NFL who played for eight seasons.

From 1992 to 1999, he played with teams like Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, and Washington Redskins.

Mark-McMillian
Mark McMillian (Source: Carl’s Cards and Collectibles)

Mark’s 1997 game for the Chiefs was the biggest gameplay. At that time, he led the Chiefs with 94 interception yards return and second-most interceptions with 8.

During his time in the field, Mark earned 402 tackles, 23 picks, 404 interception yards, and three touchdowns.

6. Maurice Jones-Drew

Born: March 23, 1985 (36 years)

Height: 5’7″

Position: Running Back

Team: Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders

Roster Status: Retired

Maurice Jones-Drew, standing at 5 feet 7 inches, is a former running back in NFL who played for nine seasons.

From 2006 to 2013, he played with Jacksonville Jaguars and with Oakland Raiders in 2014.

Currently, Drew serves as the expert analyst for the Los Angeles Rams.

Shortest NFL Players- Maurice-Jones-Drew
Maurice Jones-Drew (Source: ProFootballTalk-NBC Sports)

With Jaguars, he made three Pro Bowl appearances and led the team in rushing yards in 2011.

During his time in the field, Drew earned 8,167 rushing yards, 2,944 receiving yards, 346 catches, 68 rushing touchdowns, 11 receiving touchdowns.

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5. Jacquizz Rodgers

Born: February 6, 1990 (32 years)

Height: 5’6″ 

Position: Running Back

Team: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Roster Status: Retired

Standing at 5 feet 6 inches, Jacquizz Rodgers is a former running back in NFL who played for nine seasons.

From 2011 to 2019, he played with teams like Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Shortest NFL Players- Jacquizz-Rodgers
Jacquizz Rodgers (Source: Sporting News)

During his time in the field, Rodgers earned 2,067 rushing yards, 1,590 receiving yards, 216 catches, nine rushing touchdowns, and five receiving touchdowns.

4. Tarik Cohen

Born: July 26, 1995 (26 years)

Height: 5’6″

Position: Running Back

Team: Chicago Bears

Roster Status: Active

Standing at 5 feet 6 inches, Tarik Cohen is a running back and kicks returner in NFL’s Chicago Bears.

Bears drafted Cohen in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL season.

In 2018, he made a Pro Bowl appearance and won the name of the First-team All-Pro.

Shortest NFL Players- Tarik-Cohen
Tarik Cohen (Source: LOVEBSCOTT)

Till now, Cohen has a record of 1,101 rushing yards, 1,575 receiving yards, 209 catches, and 15 touchdowns.

Currently, he ranks 5th in NFL with 19,696 all-purpose yards.

3. Darren Sproles

Born: June 20, 1983 (38 years)

Height: 5’6″

Position: Running back and kick returner

Team: San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints,  Philadelphia Eagles.

Roster Status: Retired

Darren Sproles, standing at 5 feet 6 inches, is a former running back and kick returner in NFL who played for 15 seasons.

From 2005 to 2019, he played with teams like San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Philadelphia Eagles.

Currently, Sproles serves as the personnel consultant of the Eagles.

Shortest NFL Players- Darren-Sproles
Darren Sproles (Source: Philadelphia Eagles)

During his time in the field, Sproles made 3 Pro Bowl appearances and earned 3,552 rushing yards, 4,840 receiving yards, 32 receiving touchdowns.

In 2011, he made a record of most all-purpose yards with 2,696 in a single season with Saints. In 2017, Sprole was named Super Bowl Champion.

Besides, Sproles is the first player to have more than 2,200 all-purpose yards in four seasons from 2008 to 2011 in NFL history.

2. Trindon Holliday

Born: April 27, 1986 (35 years)

Height: 5’5″

Position: Kick Returner and Wide Receiver

Team: Houston Texas, Denver Broncos, New York Giants

Roster Status: Retired

Standing at 5 feet 5 inches, Trindon Jerard Holliday is a former kick returner and wide receiver in NFL.

From 2010 to 2015, he played with teams like Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and New York Giants.

Shortest NFL Players Trindon-Holliday
Trindon Holliday (Source: Wikiwand)

During his time in the field, Trindon earned 17 receiving yards, 2,224 return yards, four touchdowns, and two catches.

Trindon is the first player in NFL history to have 256 total punts and kick return yards.

1. Jack Shapiro

Born: March 22, 1907

Deceased: February 5, 2001 (93 years)

Height: 5’1″

Position: Fullback

Team: Staten Island Stapletons 

Roster Status: Retired

Jack Shapiro famous as “Soupy” is a former fullback player of the NFL.

He stood 5 feet 1 inch tall and played for a single season with Staten Island Stapletons in 1929.

Shortest NFL Players- Jack Shapiro
Jack Shapiro (Source: NFL.com)

In 1929, Shapiro played a huge role as a blocking back to lead Stapletons with a (34-0) victory over the Minneapolis Red Jackets.

Guinness World Records named Jack Shapiro as the shortest player in NFL history in 1999.

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