Average NFL Defensive Tackle Height and Weight

Average Height and Weight of NFL Defensive Tackles in 2023

I’ve been a collegiate sports performance coach for 20 years. One thing I always felt was effective was showing guys the heights and weights of players at their position in the NFL.

It helped give many players the extra motivation needed to gain weight when they were able to compare themselves to guys at the next level.

(Sometimes it was even a stark reality check for, say, defensive ends who thought 205 pounds was ‘big enough’ to play in the NFL.)

So, this is essentially the same research I would share with players, but now I’m sharing it with you. I took 53-man active rosters for the 2023 season (just after the final cuts at the end of preseason), almost 1700 players total and broke them down by position.

For this guide, I took an average of the heights and weights of the 124 active defensive tackles (players listed as defensive tackles and nose tackles) across the league.

In addition, just for fun, I listed the tallest, shortest, heaviest and lightest defensive tackles as well. Go ahead and impress someone today with your newfound random football knowledge.

Average Height of an NFL Defensive Tackle

The average height of an NFL Defensive Tackle is 75.3 inches (a little over 6’3 1/4″ tall).

Height of NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 2.0

Average Weight of an NFL Defensive Tackle

The average weight of an NFL Defensive Tackle is 309.57 pounds.

Weight of NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 2.0

Who Are The Tallest Defensive Tackles in the NFL?

There are 7 Defensive Tackles in 2023 listed at 6’6″ or taller.

Out of those 7, 2 measure 6’7″ – the tallest in the league.

Raekwon Davis6’7″325Dolphins
DeForest Buckner6’7″295Colts
Jordan Phillips6’6″341Bills
Jordan Davis6’6″336Eagles
Gervon Dexter Sr6’6″312Bears
Jerry Tillery6’6″295Raiders
William Gholston6’6″281Buccaneers

Who are the Shortest Defensive Tackles in the NFL?

On the other end of the spectrum, there are 6 Defensive Tackles listed at 6’0″ or shorter.

And, just one, listed under 6 feet tall.

Poona Ford5’11”310Bills
Calijah Kancey6’0″280Buccaneers
Grady Jarrett6’0″288Falcons
DJ Jones6’0″305Broncos
Khalen Saunders6’0″324Saints
Michael Pierce6’0″355Ravens

Who are the Heaviest Defensive Tackles in the NFL?

As you would probably expect, there are some giants anchoring the middle of defensive lines in the NFL.

The 6 biggest Defensive Tackles all weigh in at 340 pounds or more.

Siaki Ika6’4″358Browns
Michael Pierce6’0″355Ravens
Vita Vea6’4″347Buccaneers
Dexter Lawrence6’4″342Giants
Jordan Phillips6’6″341Bills
Josh Tupou6’3″340Bengals

Who are the Lightest Defensive Tackles in the NFL?

Aaron Donald is notoriously an ‘undersized’ Defensive Tackle who just happens to be one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of the league.

This year, he’s joined by a rookie – a fellow Pitt Panther who put up shockingly similar numbers at the NFL Combine – as the lightest Defensive Tackle in the NFL.

Aaron Donald6’1″280Rams
Calijah Kancey6’0″280Buccaneers
Dre’Mont Jones6’3″281Seahawks
William Gholston6’6″281Buccaneers
Adetomiwa Adebawore6’2″282Colts
Kevin Givens6’1″28549ers
Denico Autry6’5″285Titans

2022 Data

This is the second season that I’ve run this data and I thought it would be interesting to keep an ‘archive’, if you will, of past seasons to watch how the sizes of players evolve over the years.

So here are the numbers for the 2022 season including 118 active Defensive Tackles:

Average Size of NFL Defensive Tackles by Year

YearHeight (inches)Weight


There were 9 guys listed as 6’6″ or taller in 2022 – the three tallest were all listed at 6’7″.

  • DeForest Buckner – 6’7″ – Colts
  • Arik Armstead – 6’7″ – 49ers
  • Raekwon Davis – 6’7″ – Dolphins
  • Jordan Phillips – 6’6″ – Bills
  • Jerry Tillery – 6’6″ – Raiders
  • Chris Jones – 6’6″ – Chiefs
  • Eyioma Uwazurike – 6’6″ – Broncos
  • Jordan Davis – 6’6″ – Eagles
  • Jalen Dalton – 6’6″ – Falcons


15 defensive tackles were 6’1 or less, but there were only 4 listed at 6’0″ even.

  • Khalen Saunders – 6’0″ – Chiefs
  • T.Y. McGill – 6’0″ – 49ers
  • Grady Jarrett – 6’0″ – Falcons
  • D.J. Jones – 6’0″ – Broncos


Not surprisingly, there were some very large humans playing on the defensive line.

Here were the 6 heaviest guys, all 340 pounds or bigger.

  • Marquan McCall – 379 pounds – Panthers
  • Quinton Bohanna – 360 pounds – Cowboys
  • Vita Vea – 347 pounds – Bucs
  • Dexter Lawrence – 342 pounds – Giants
  • John Jenkins – 340 pounds – Dolphins
  • Josh Tupou – 340 pounds – Bengals


There were only 5 guys listed at under 290 pounds.

  • Osa Odighizuwa – 280 pounds – Cowboys
  • Mario Edwards – 280 pounds – Titans
  • Henry Mondeaux – 280 pounds – Giants
  • Kevin Givens – 285 pounds – 49ers
  • Marquise Copeland – 287 pounds – Rams
  • Ed Oliver – 287 pounds – Bills

Final Thoughts

So, what did I learn?

There wasn’t too much that I was really surprised by. I expected to see a lot of really big guys playing in the middle of trenches and that’s exactly what I found.

If you found this breakdown interesting, you may also want to check out the fastest defensive tackle 40 times in NFL Combine history.

Other Positions

I’ve done the same height and weight breakdown for other positions too including:



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