Shortest Safeties in NFL

Who Are the Shortest Safeties in the NFL? (2023-24)

I’ve been a Sports Performance Coach for two decades and I’ve always found it helpful to show the Safeties I coached the heights and weights of NFL players at their position. This has proven over the years to be motivational for players needing to add size and sometimes served as a harsh reality check.

I did the same research this season that I do every year. I went through the 53-man active rosters for the 2023 NFL season, immediately following the final preseason cuts, a total of nearly 1700 players and broke them down by position.

By popular demand, I have put together this guide focusing on the NFL’s shortest Safeties. Get ready to learn some random, yet interesting, football facts that you can show off to your friends.

Shortest NFL Safeties

In the NFL, where the average safety is a little over 6’0″ tall, a group of players defies this standard due to their shorter size. The 7 shortest safeties, all 5’9″ or under, along with a group of about 15 players at 5’10”, are challenging the conventional height expectations for their role.

Height of NFL Safeties 2023 2.0

Despite being shorter than their counterparts, these safeties compensate with remarkable agility, speed, and a profound understanding of the game. These qualities are crucial for safeties, as they allow for quick reactions to offensive plays, efficient movement across the field, and effective coverage against various passing attacks.

Their success in the league underscores that in the NFL, a player’s height is just one element of their overall skill set.

Ar’Darius Washington

  • Height: 5’8″
  • Weight: 176 lbs
  • Team: Baltimore Ravens
  • College: TCU
  • Draft: Undrafted in 2021
  • Years in NFL: 3 years

Tyrann Mathieu

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • Team: New Orleans Saints
  • College: LSU
  • Draft: 3rd round, 2013 NFL Draft
  • Years in NFL: 11 years

Bobby McCain

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 196 lbs
  • Team: New York Giants
  • College: Memphis
  • Draft: 5th round, 2015 NFL Draft
  • Years in NFL: 9 years

Jerrick Reed II

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 196 lbs
  • Team: Seattle Seahawks
  • College: New Mexico
  • Draft: 6th round, 2023 NFL Draft
  • Years in NFL: Rookie

Quandre Diggs

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 198 lbs
  • Team: Seattle Seahawks
  • College: Texas
  • Draft: 6th round, 2015 NFL Draft
  • Years in NFL: 9 years

Ugo Amadi

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 201 lbs
  • Team: New Orleans Saints
  • College: Oregon
  • Draft: 4th round, 2019 NFL Draft
  • Years in NFL: 5 years

Antoine Winfield Jr.

  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 203 lbs
  • Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • College: Minnesota
  • Draft: 2nd round, 2020 NFL Draft
  • Years in NFL: 4 years

5’10” Safeties

Here is that second group of safeties, all listed at 5’10”.

Kareem JacksonBroncos
Rodney McLeod Jr.Browns
Grayland ArnoldTexans
Verone McKinley IIIDolphins
Budda BakerCardinals
Russ YeastRams
Dallin LeavittPackers
Jordan WhiteheadJets
Christian IzienBuccaneers
Alohi GilmanChargers
P.J. LockeBroncos
Mike EdwardsChiefs
Trevor DenbowColts
Sydney BrownEagles
Daniel ThomasJaguars

Final Thoughts

This article on the shortest NFL safeties highlights a vital truth in pro football: success is not exclusively determined by physical height. These players, quite a bit shorter than the average safety, have effectively demonstrated how skill, agility, tactical intelligence, and determination can overcome height disadvantages.

Their ability to read plays quickly and respond with precision shows that performance on the field is a blend of various attributes, where mental acuity and physical ability play significant roles. Athletes like Kareem Jackson and Budda Baker exemplify that with the right combination of skills and mindset, shorter players can not only compete but also stand out at the highest levels of the game.

Their success serves as an inspiration and a reminder that in the NFL, overall ability, and adaptability often outshine conventional physical standards.

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