5-foot-8 seems to be a pretty reasonable cutoff height for separating "average" and "short", in terms of professional athletes.
The top of the board for baseball's 68-inch (or fewer) stars are guys like Yogi Berra, Hack Wilson and Kirby Puckett, known for their stocky stature in addition to their prolific careers. In basketball, you might have to raise that bar a little bit, as there are some notable names, including Muggsy Bogues and Spud Webb, but they are extreme outliers. Only 12 players in NBA history, including those two, were 5-foot-8 or shorter.
Given the positional variability in football, it's hard to peg a certain height as "short" for all players. But for the purpose of this story, we're going to roll with that same 5-foot-8 boundary line. Running backs with a low center of gravity, like Barry Sanders and Maurice Jones-Drew, are some of the best in league history, and they stood at 5-foot-8 or shorter. Defensive backs Tim Jennings and Bob Sanders are among the dominant secondary presences on the gridiron who were shorter than 5-foot-8.
Among wide receivers, there's a new face at the top of the list. That's Buffalo Bills wideout Cole Beasley.
In the second quarter of Monday night's matchup with the San Francisco 49ers in Glendale, Arizona, Beasley caught a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Allen to tie the game at 7-7. In the process, Beasley set a record for the most touchdown receptions by a player that is 5-foot-8 or shorter.
The full list of the top-10 behind Beasley is as follows.
Outside of that record-setting touchdown, Beasley had an amazing night all in all, leading the team with 130 yards on nine catches for his fourth 100-yard night of the season. He's threatening the 1,000-yard barrier — he's received a boost in doing so after fellow wideout John Brown was placed on Injured Reserve — and has been a big part in Allen's success on the year.
Look out for Beasley — all 5-foot-8 of him — and company to keep it rolling right into the playoffs after a commanding offensive performance.