I love writing about sports, particularly about NFL players.
Height is one of the most important physical traits that most NFL teams today look for in a quarterback. As such, it comes as no surprise that the average height of a starting quarterback in the league is 6’3". Considering how tall the linemen are in today’s game, it makes sense for a quarterback to be at least 6’2”. A quarterback should be able to see over guys that are in the 6’5” to 6’7” range. This makes it easier for them to survey the field and release the ball to the receivers.
Other Physical Advantages That Come With Height
Being tall usually comes with other important physical traits that enhance the game of a quarterback.
- Big Hands: Big hands are critical to ball control. Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly even proposed that quarterbacks didn’t thrive because they were tall, but rather because they had big hands. There might be an element of truth to Kelly's reasoning as quarterbacks typically throw through passing lanes, not over the top of their linemen, regardless of their height.
- Long Arms: Long arms give you a natural advantage when throwing the football. It’s one of the reasons why NFL teams put great emphasis on measuring the arm length of top prospects. Longer arms usually equal higher release points, and higher release points usually equal higher throws over angry defensive linemen with less chance of tipped passes.
The Tallest Quarterbacks Ever
Most quarterbacks in the NFL today hover somewhere around 6'2" to 6'6". It’s rare to find quarterbacks taller than 6’6” because usually QBs this tall aren’t as quick as their 6’3” counterparts. We'll take a look at the tallest quarterbacks (6’6” or taller) to ever play in the NFL. Some of these players didn’t necessarily enjoy the best of careers despite their height—which goes to show that height isn’t everything in this position.
30. Trevor Lawrence (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: William Trevor Lawrence
Date of birth: October 6, 1999
College: Clemson University
Highlights and awards: CFP National Champion (2018); CFP National Championship Offensive MVP (2018); First-team All-American (2020); ACC Athlete of the Year (2021); ACC Player of the Year (2020); ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2020); ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year (2018); 2× First-team All-ACC (2019, 2020); Second-team All-ACC (2018); USA Today High School Football Offensive Player of the Year (2017); Hall Trophy (2017)
William Trevor Lawrence was considered among the highest-touted college football prospects. He won the 2019 National Championship Game as a freshman at Clemson and set the school's record for quarterback wins.
Following his collegiate accomplishments, he was selected first overall by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence drew comparisons to Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning and 2012 first overall pick Andrew Luck.
29. Feleipe Franks (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Feleipe Franks
Date of birth: December 22, 1997
College: University of Florida & University of Arkansas
Feleipe Franks is a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. His first two years of college football was played at Florida. He later transferred to Arkansas for his final season.
Franks signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 3, 2021. He was named the third-string quarterback behind incumbent starter Matt Ryan and second-string backup Josh Rosen. Franks made his NFL debut in Week 11 during the Falcons' final drive against the New England Patriots.
28. Jacob Eason (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Jacob Henry Eason
Date of birth: November 17, 1997
College: University of Georgia & University of Washington
Highlights and awards: Hall Trophy (2015); Gatorade Football Player of the Year (2015); USA Today All American (2015)
Jacob Henry Eason is an American football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Eason was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played college football at Washington and Georgia.
27. Justin Herbert (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Justin Patrick Herbert
Date of birth: March 10, 1998
Highlights and awards: Rose Bowl MVP (2020)
Justin Herbert was picked sixth overall by the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. On September 20, 2020, he made his first NFL start in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs becoming the third player in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards and rush for a touchdown in his first career game.
26. Jake Luton (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Jake Luton
Date of birth: April 11, 1996
College: Oregon State
Jake Luton played college football at Oregon State and was selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. On November 8, 2020, he made his first career start in week 9 against the Houston Texans due to starter Gardner Minshew being out with a thumb injury.
25. Derek Anderson (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Derek Matthew Anderson
Date of birth: June 15, 1983
College: Oregon State University
Highlights and awards: Pro Bowl (2007)
Derek Anderson was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL draft. He played college football at Oregon State. A 2007 Pro Bowler, he also played for the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, and the Buffalo Bills. He retired from the NFL in 2019.
24. Matt Blundin (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Matthew Brent Blundin
Date of birth: March 7, 1969
College: University of Virginia
Highlights and awards: ACC Player of the Year (1991)
Matt Blundin was a backup quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions during the 1990s. He received limited playing time in his career as a backup for the Chiefs and later the Detroit Lions. Blundin concluded his professional career with the Detroit Lions as the third-string quarterback in 1997.
23. Tyler Bray (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Tyler Ian Bray
Date of birth: December 27, 1991
College: University of Tennessee
Tyler Bray played his college football at the University of Tennessee. Bray went undrafted in the 2013 NFL draft, but he would later sign with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent. Bray made his NFL debut against the Denver Broncos in Week 17 of the 2017 season where he came in to relieve Patrick Mahomes II. Bray later joined the Chicago Bears.
22. Joe Flacco (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Joseph Vincent Flacco
Date of birth: January 16, 1985
College: University of Delaware
Highlights and awards: Super Bowl champion (XLVII); Super Bowl MVP (XLVII); Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year (2008); ECAC Player of the Year (2007); First-team All-CAA (2007); CAA Co-Offensive Player of the Year (2007)
Joe Flacco played college football at Delaware after transferring from Pittsburgh and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft. He helped the team win Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 season and was named Super Bowl XLVII's MVP. He is also known for having one of the strongest arms in the NFL. He also played for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets.
21. Nick Foles (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Nicholas Edward Foles
Date of birth: January 20, 1989
College: University of Arizona
Highlights and awards: Super Bowl champion (LII); Super Bowl MVP (LII); Pro Bowl (2013); NFL passer rating leader (2013)
Nick Foles played college football at Arizona and was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft. He has also played for the St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Chicago Bears. Foles led the Eagles to the franchise's third Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII for their first Super Bowl title, and Foles was named the game's MVP.
20. Josh Freeman (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Joshua Tyler Freeman
Date of birth: January 13, 1988
College: Kansas State University
Highlights and awards: Kansas State Wildcats all-time passing leader (8,078)
Josh Freeman played college football at Kansas State University and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Freeman was also a member of the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, and Montreal Alouettes (CFL).
19. Ryan Mallett (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Ryan Mallett
Date of birth: June 5, 1988
College: University of Arkansas
Highlights and awards: Second-team All-SEC (2009, 2010)
Ryan Mallett was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft and has also played for the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens. He played college football at Arkansas.
18. Sean Mannion (Height: 1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Sean Thomas Mannion
Date of birth: April 25, 1992
College: Oregon State University
Sean Mannion played college football at Oregon State and was the Beavers' starting quarterback from 2011 to 2014. He was drafted by the Rams in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft and joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2019.
17. Brian McClure (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Brian McClure
Date of birth: December 28, 1963
College: Bowling Green State University
Highlights and awards: 3-time MAC Offensive Player of the Year (1983–1985); 2-timeMAC Most Valuable Player (1984, 1985); MAC Freshman of the Year (1982)
Brian McClure was drafted in the 12th round of the 1986 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was cut by the Bills in training camp in 1987 but got a chance to play after all when Buffalo signed him as a replacement player during that year's players' strike. Among players who appeared in only one NFL game, McClure's 20 completions, 38 attempts, and 181 passing yards remain all-time records.
16. John Navarre (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: John Robert Navarre
Date of birth: September 9, 1980
College: University of Michigan
John Navarre was drafted in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals and served as their third-string quarterback for 2004 through 2005 seasons. He started one game for the Cardinals in 2004 and appeared in five games in his three-year NFL career.
15. Tony Pike (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Anthony Steven Pike
Date of birth: March 10, 1986
College: University of Cincinnati
Highlights and awards: Second Team Big East (2008); 2008 All-Mayday Team (ESPN); First Team Big East (2009)
Tony Pike was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He competed with fellow rookie Jimmy Clausen for playing time behind incumbent Matt Moore in 2010. Pike had two elbow surgeries, the second in March 2012. In the summer of 2012, he participated in try-outs for the Cincinnati Bengals but was eventually cut.
14. Jonathan Quinn (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Jonathan Ryan Quinn
Date of birth: February 27, 1975
College: Middle Tennessee State
Highlights and awards: World Bowl IX MVP (2001)
Jonathan Quinn played professionally as a quarterback in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, and Chicago Bears. He was selected with the 25th pick of the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Middle Tennessee State University by the Jaguars.
13. JaMarcus Russell (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: JaMarcus Trenell Russell
Date of birth: August 9, 1985
College: Louisiana State University
Highlights and awards: BCS national champion (2003); First-team All-SEC (2006); Manning Award (2006)
JaMarcus Russell played college football at LSU, where he finished 21–4 as a starter and was named MVP of the 2007 Sugar Bowl. The Oakland Raiders selected Russell with the first overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft. Russell played three seasons with the Raiders but was released by the team in 2010 due to his inconsistent play. He is often ranked as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
12. Matt Schaub (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Matthew Schaub
Date of birth: June 25, 1981
College: University of Virginia
Highlights and awards: 2-time Pro Bowl (2009, 2012); NFL passing yards leader (2009)
Matt Schaub was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft as the 90th overall pick. He was the fifth of 17 quarterbacks taken in a quarterback-rich class, including Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger. He has also played for the Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, and Baltimore Ravens, and in 2016 he returned to the Atlanta Falcons.
11. John Skelton (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: John Michael Skelton
Date of birth: March 17, 1988
College: Fordham University
John Skelton played college football at Fordham and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft. He was also a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, and Montreal Alouettes (CFL).
10. Nate Sudfeld (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Nathan Michael Sudfeld
Date of birth: October 7, 1993
College: Indiana University
Highlights and awards: Super Bowl champion (LII)
Nate Sudfeld is a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Indiana and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round in the 2016 NFL draft.
9. Logan Thomas (1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Logan Lamont Thomas
Date of birth: July 1, 1991
College: Virginia Tech
Highlights and awards: Second-team All-ACC (2011); ACC champion (2010)
Logan Thomas was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He played college football at Virginia Tech, where he was the starting quarterback from 2011 to 2013. Thomas switched his position from quarterback to tight end in 2016. He has also played for the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins.
8. Marc Wilson (Height: 1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in)
Full name: Marc Douglas Wilson
Date of birth: February 15, 1957
College: Brigham Young University
Highlights and awards: 2-time Super Bowl champion (XV, XVIII), Consensus All-American (1979)
Marc Wilson is a former professional football player who was a quarterback in the NFL for eleven seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. He played college football for Brigham Young University and was recognized as an All-American. A first-round pick in the 1980 NFL draft, he played professionally for the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders, Greenbay Packers, and New England Patriots.
7. Scott Mitchell (1.99 m or 6 ft 6.5 in)
Full name: William Scott Mitchell
Date of birth: January 2, 1968
College: University of Utah
Scott Mitchell was a quarterback in the NFL for 12 seasons. He played for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL, and also the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football. Mitchell played college football for the University of Utah.
6. Sonny Gibbs (2.01 m or 6 ft 7 in)
Full name: Sonny Gibbs
Date of birth: October 25, 1939
College: Texas Christian University
Highlights and awards: Second-team All-SWC (1961); Honorable-mention All-SWC (1962)
Sonny Gibbs is a former quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions. He played college football at Texas Christian University.
5. Mike Glennon (2.01 m or 6 ft 7 in)
Full name: Michael Joseph Glennon
Date of birth: December 12, 1989
College: North Carolina State University
Highlights and awards: PFWA All-Rookie Team (2013)
Mike Glennon played college football at NC State and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. He has played for the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
4. Paxton Lynch (2.01 m or 6 ft 7 in)
Full name: Paxton James Lynch
Date of birth: February 12, 1994
College: University of Memphis
Paxton Lynch played college football at Memphis and was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. He played just two seasons in Denver and made four starts before being released prior to the 2018 season. In January of 2019, Lynch signed with the Seattle Seahawks after missing the 2018 season, but he ended up being waived in final roster cuts. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers.