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 backs who thought 175 pounds was ‘about average’ 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 147 active safeties (both free safeties and strong safeties) across the league. In addition, just for fun, I listed the tallest, shortest, heaviest and lightest safeties as well.
Go ahead and impress someone today with your newfound random football knowledge.
Average Height of an NFL Safety
The average height of an NFL Safety is 72.16 inches (almost 6’0 1/4″ tall).
Average Weight of an NFL Safety
The average weight of an NFL Safety is 203.61 pounds.
Who Are The Tallest Safeties in the NFL?
There are six Safeties listed at 6’4″ this year (double from last year).
Two former Clemson Tigers (Simmons and Kearse) are not only two of the tallest but (spoiler alert) two of the heaviest Safeties in the NFL.
Who are the Shortest Safeties in the NFL?
On the other end of the scale, there are 7 guys listed at 5’9″ or shorter:
|Jerrick Reed II||5’9″||196||Seahawks|
|Antoine Winfield Jr||5’9″||203||Buccaneers|
Who are the Heaviest Safeties in the NFL?
There are 7 Safeties listed at 220 pounds or more (1 more than last year).
These are the heaviest guys at the position this year, led by Isaiah Simmons who is almost 240!
Who are the Lightest Safeties in the NFL?
Safeties have an average weight of 204 and over half fall within 5 pounds of the average (80 players are listed between 200 and 210).
Only 7 guys fall under 190 pounds:
|Rodney McLeod Jr||5’10”||185||Browns|
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 111 active safeties:
Average Size of NFL Safeties by Year
There were only 3 guys listed at 6’4″ in 2022 which was the tallest height for any safety.
- Isaiah Pola-Man – Raiders
- Kyle Hamilton – Ravens
- Jayron Kearse – Cowboys
There were 5 guys listed at 5’9″, but only one listed at 5’8″ – the shortest in the league.
- Lamarcus Joyner – 5’8″ – Jets
- Tyrann Mathieu – 5’9″ – Saints
- Quandre Diggs – 5’9″ – Seahawks
- Bobby McCain – 5’9″ – Commanders
- K’Waun Williams – 5’9″ – Broncos
- Antoine Winfield Jr – 5’9″ – Bucs
Many people still think of safeties are small defensive backs but that is not the case at all. I actually got to coach Tariq when he was at Georgia Tech and I can tell you first-hand that that weight is accurate and he carries it incredibly well.
- Tariq Carpenter – 230 pounds – Packers
- Erik Harris – 225 pounds – Falcons
- Kyle Hamilton – 220 pounds – Ravens
- Jeremy Chinn – 220 pounds – Panthers
- Kyle Dugger – 220 pounds – Patriots
- Rayshawn Jenkins – 220 pounds – Jaguars
There were only 7 safeties total who were listed at under 190 pounds. Here were the five lightest:
- Damontae Kazee – 174 pounds – Steelers
- Kareem Jackson – 183 pounds – Broncos
- Rodney McLeod – 183 pounds – Colts
- Lamarcus Joyner – 185 pounds – Jets
- K’Waun Williams – 185 pounds – Broncos
So, what have I learned?
Safeties are big.
Safeties and cornerbacks are roughly the same average height (both around six feet tall), but safeties on average weigh about 10 pounds more. That is a significant, and necessary, difference especially if you’re heavily involved in the run game.
I’ve done the same height and weight breakdown for other positions too including: