Shortest Players in the NFL
For the sake of not getting too crazy, we’ve kept it inside the last 25 years or so. The shortest player in the NFL of all time was Jack Shapiro, who stood at just under 5’1″. Weighing only 119 pounds, Shapiro played one game in 1929 to become the smallest to ever play a game in the NFL. His time was short, pun intended, but he made his mark. Here’s a look at some other vertically challenged NFL players.
Current Shortest Players in the NFL
At the start of the 2020 season, the following players are the shortest in the NFL that are on a team:
- Tarik Cohen – 5’6″ – 179 lbs. – Chicago Bears
- Boston Scott – 5’6″ – 203 lbs. – Philadelphia Eagles
- Nickell Robey-Coleman – 5’7″ – 169lbs. – Philadelphia Eagles
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 5’7″ – 210 lbs. – Kansas City Chiefs
- Kyler Murray – 5’10” – 207 lbs. – Arizona Cardinals
More details on each below!
Trindon Holliday – 5’5″ – 162 lbs.
A kick return specialist, Holliday ran his way to 2 total punt return touchdowns and 2 total kick returns. He’s no Josh Cribbs, but with smaller legs, it’s tough to blow past everyone. He did manage to muster 26.9 yards per kick return and 9.3 yards per punt return during his time with Houston, Denver and San Francisco. Holliday has been out of the league since 2015.
Deonte Harris – 5’6″ – 170 lbs.
New to the NFL in 2019, Deonte Harris is making a name for himself as a punt returner for the New Orleans Saints. With a 78-yard return against the Jets, folks are already comparing him to the next player on our list.
Tarik Cohen – 5’6″ – 179 lbs.
The Human Joystick has made quite an impression with the Bears. While his numbers aren’t crazy by any means, he is starting to get some hype as “the next Darren Sproles.” Those are some big shoes to fill in terms of production, but he’d probably fit pretty nicely in his actual cleats. Cohen became the shortest player to throw a touchdown in the modern era on Oct 15, 2017.
Boston Scott – 5’6″ – 203 lbs.
Boston Scott is in his third year in the NFL and after spending some time on the practice squad, Scott totaled 721 all-purpose yards and ranked second on the team with five rushing TDs in 2019. Now playing second chair to Miles Sanders, Scott is the shortest active running back in the NFL.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 5’7″ – 210lbs.
The 2020 rookie running back for the Kansas City Chiefs slammed onto the scene in the first game of the 2020 season against the Houston Texans. Edwards-Helaire scampered for 1400 yards and 16 touchdowns in his final season at LSU and in his NFL debut rushed for 138 yards and 1 TD. Edwards-Helaire looks to be a major addition for an already stout Chiefs offense.
Nickell Robey-Coleman – 5’7″ – 169lbs.
While Robey-Coleman is one of the smallest DB’s in recent NFL history, he’s had a decent career in the NFL, logging 178 tackles. After a three-year stint with the Bills, he is now with the Rams playing second fiddle to the 6’2″ Trumaine Johnson.
CJ Anderson – 5’8″ – 225 lbs.
Anderson is one of the more rotund short guys and hes been nailing it during the 2018 season with the Rams as Todd Gurley’s backup. He racked up over a thousand yards in 2017 for the Broncos before they released him. Anderson has had some trouble with his weight and during the summer of 2014, weighed 243 pounds. Regardless of weight, his stature and attitude are helping the Rams get deeper into the playoffs. Heading into the 2020 season, Anderson is a free agent.
Kyler Murray – 5’10” – 207 lbs.
Oklahoma Quarterback Kyler Murray made history in the 2019 NFL Draft for plenty of reasons. He was the first Heisman from the same school where a Heisman had won the year before and had also been drafted at number one, etc, etc. Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals couldn’t be more excited and who knows whether Kyler Murray will pay off in the long run. In the short term, he’s one of two shortest quarterbacks of all time. It’s even possible that he’s 5’8″.
Elvis Dumervil – 5’11” – 255lbs.
Below average height for a defensive end has not slowed Kool down at all. In his eleven seasons in the NFL, Dumervil has gone to the Pro Bowl five times and led the NFL in sacks in 2009. He is now with the San Francisco 49ers after being released by the Ravens earlier this year.
J.P. Darche – 6’0″ – 243lbs.
We had to get at least one lineman on here. There are several more of similar stature and it seems like the smallest of the bunch are all longsnappers. Darche played one season in the CFL before landing with the Seahawks who used his long snapping services through the 2006 season.
While this list is mostly offensive players, trends show that soon the shortest players will be on defense. Did we miss someone? Let us know below in the comments.
- JJ Moses – WR – 5’6″
- Jojo Natson – WR – 5’7″ – 153 lbs.
- Andrew Hawkins – WR – 5’7″
- Taylor Gabriel – WR – 5’7″
- Branden Oliver – RB – 5’6″
- Dion Lewis – RB – 5’7″
- Maurice Jones Drew – RB – 5’7″
- Ricky Williams – RB – 5’7″
- Captain Munnerlyn – DB – 5’8″
- Brian Rolle – LB – 5’10”
- London Fletcher – LB – 5’10”
Players We’ve Retired From The List
Darren Sproles – 5’6″ – 181 lbs.
Speaking of Sproles, let’s take a quick look at the man who may potentially have the longest tenure of a little guy. Unfortunately his 12th season ended quite abruptly when he broke his arm and tore his ACL all in the same play. Hopefully this isn’t the end of his career, but if it is, he’ll have set the bar for all little guys that follow with 22 rushing touchdowns, 30 receiving and over 8,000 yards from scrimmage. Sproles retired in 2019 and is now a personnel consultant for the Eagles.
Replaced by Clyde Edwards-Helaire 9/12/20
Jacquizz Rodgers – 5’6″ – 190 lbs.
According to his NFL Draft profile, Rodgers is “very undersized”. O rly? Bouncing from the Falcons to the Bears and now at Tampa Bay, Quizz has only mustered more than 370 yards once in a season (2016). With the Muscle Hamster set to re-appear this next week, it looks like Rodgers will take a backseat to an already slow start to the 2017 season. Headed into the 2020 season, Rodgers is a free agent.
Replaced by Boston Scott 9/12/20
Doug Martin – 5’9″ – 223 lbs.
The Muscle Hamster may have taken a little enhancement cocktail to try and improve strength and speed (thus his 3-game suspension to start 2017), but one thing he can’t change, without major surgery, is his height. The Dougernaut has had an iffy career, ending up hurt in at least 3 of his 5 seasons so far, but you can bet he’s had October circled on his calendar for quite some time.
Replaced 1/13/19 with CJ Anderson
Wes Welker – 5’9″ – 190 lbs.
Welker had his best seasons while in New England but across his career he managed 10,075 yards from scrimmage (just shy of 10k receiving). He led the league 3 times in total receptions and had an epic 99 yard touchdown in the 2011 season. Sorry for the music in the above video.
Doug Flutie – 5’10” – 180 lbs.
Our shortest quarterback, Douglas Richard Flutie managed to become a successful quarterback in the USFL / NFL / CFL even though he stands about 7 inches shorter than the average lineman (in 2015, the average lineman was 6’5″ 312 pounds). Flutie is known for his Flutie Flakes, his Foundation and the above video. The Miracle in Miami, as it was dubbed, was a 64-yard heave that closed the game on a Hail Mary that makes Aaron Rodgers look weak. A lesser known fact is that Flutie had 212 rushing yards, and 4 rushing touchdowns after the age of 40, the most of any player playing in their 5th decade.
Replaced by Kyler Murray 4/26/19