All of the Positions in Football: Complete List of Positions and Their Responsibilities

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The game of football gives players and fans the chance to experience exciting plays, thrilling wins and heartbreaking losses. Football has become the most popular sport in the U.S., with a fan base in countries all around the world. From college, to the professional leagues, like the NFL and USFL. There are any different positions in football with varying responsibilities.

What are the 11 positions of a football team?

The 11 positions on a football team:

  1. Quarterback
  2. Running Back
  3. Receiver
  4. Left Tackle
  5. Left Guard
  6. Center
  7. Right Guard
  8. Right Tackle
  9. Tight End
  10. Fullback
  11. Wide Receiver

The Defensive Positions on a football team:

  • Middle Linebacker
  • Outside Linebacker
  • The Outside "Will" Weak Side Linebacker
  • The Middle "Jack" Weak Side Linebacker
  • Middle "Mike" Strong Side Linebacker
  • Outside "Sam" Strong Side Linebacker
  • Nose Tackle
  • Defensive End
  • Cornerback
  • Nickelback
  • Strong Safety
  • Free Safety
  • Edge Rusher

What are the 7 positions by importance?

  1. Quarterback
  2. Running Back
  3. Left Tackle
  4. Receiver
  5. Middle Linebacker (defense)
  6. Cornerback (defense)
  7. Defensive End (defense)

What Football Position Weighs the most?

In the NFL, the Offensive Tackle are the heaviest with an average of 315.22 pounds.

What Football Position Weighs the least?

The NFL Cornerback position is the lightest. NFL cornerbacks weigh an average of 193.28 pounds.

Who is the lightest NFL Player?

The lightest NFL player is 155 lbs, wide receiver Deven Thompkins #83 a 5' 8" rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 8 other NFL players weigh less than 170 lbs:

Weight (lbs)



Ja'Quan McMillian



Denver Broncos

Calvin Austin III


Wide Receiver

Pittsburgh Steelers

Cordale Flott



New York Giants

Tutu Atwell


Wide Receiver

Los Angeles Rams

Michael Lutrell Clemons


Running Back

New York Jets

Kevin Shaa


Wide Receiver

Chicago Bears

Jake Elliott


Place Kicker

Philadelphia Eagles

Tyler Snead


Wide Receiver

Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL average height and weight of players for each position

  • Position Weight (Pounds) Height (Inches)
  • Center 306.35 75.65
  • Cornerback 193.2 71.8
  • Defensive Back 210 73.6
  • Defensive End 271 76
  • Defensive Lineman 277.5 75.5
  • Defensive Tackle 307 75
  • Fullback 241 73
  • Guard 315 76.3
  • Linebacker 239.6 74.2
  • Long Snapper 239.9 74.3
  • Offensive Lineman 306.5 76.7
  • Offensive Tackle 315.2 77.8
  • Place Kicker 198.2 72.1
  • Punter 209.9 74.1
  • Quarterback 219.5 74.7
  • Running Back 212 70.8
  • Safety 202.6 72.2
  • Tight End 248.9 76.7
  • Wide Receiver 198.7 72.6

Who is the smallest NFL Player?

Michael Lutrell Clemons is a 5' 5" running back for the New York Jets and also one of the lightest players at 166 lbs.

Three other NFL players are under 5' 7":

Who are the tallest NFL Wide Receivers?

6 foot 5 inch Wide Receivers

The positions in football:

  • Quarterback​ - The quarterback is the leader of the offense, handling the ball snap, then either a hand-off or passing to open receivers. The quarterback abbreviation is QB.
  • Running back​ - The running back starts in the backfield and either accepts a handoff from the QB for a running play, blocks, or becomes an eligible pass receiver; often providing an outlet for the quarterback when no receivers are open. The running back abbreviation is RB.
  • Fullback​ - The fullback often starts behind the QB and in front of the RB, a so-called I-formation. The fullback blocks for the running back, protects the QB during a pass, or becomes a receiver. The fullback abbreviation is FB.
  • Halfback​ - The halfback is similar to the fullback. The difference is usually proclivity to block or to receive. The halfback is more a runner or receiver, than a blocker like a fullback. The halfback abbreviation is HB.
  • Left Tackle​ - The left tackle is often the biggest and best athlete on the offensive line. The left tackle protects the QB's blindside. In the NFL, the left tackle is often one of the highest paid players. The left tackle abbreviation is LT. or OL
  • Left Guard​ - The left guard starts between the left tackle and center. The guard often pulls on run plays, running around another blocker to lead a run play. The guard abbreviation is G or OL.
  • Center​ - The center hikes the ball between the center's legs to the quarterback. The center abbreviation is either C or OL.
  • Right Guard​ - The right guard starts between the right tackle and center. Often, the guard leads the blocking on runs. The guard abbreviation is G or OL.
  • Right Tackle​ - The right tackle starts to the outside of the right guard. The right tackle blocks with the offensive line to protect the QB on pass plays or aid the running back on runs. The right tackle abbreviation is RT or OL.
  • Wide Receiver​ - The wide receiver starts out closest to the sidelines, away from the offensive line. The wide receiver runs downfield after the snap to receive a pass from the quarterback. The wide receiver abbreviation is WR.
  • Tight End​ - The tight end starts to the outside of the tackle. Often as big as an offensive lineman, the tight end runs downfield after the snap to receive a pass from the quarterback. The Tight End abbreviation is TE.
  • Linebacker​ - The linebacker starts behind the defensive lineman. As the defensive linemen engage with the offensive line after the snap, the linebacker follows the ball as a run play develops or drops back in pass coverage. The linebacker is abbreviated as LB.
  • Outside Linebacker​ - The outside linebacker starts outside the defensive lineman, close to the line of scrimmage. The outside linebacker engages the left or right tackle to either hurry the quarterback during the pass or break up the run play.
  • Middle Linebacker​ - The middle linebacker starts inside the tackles, a few yards away from the line of scrimmage. The middle linebacker is often the defensive leader, calling plays or managing assignments.
  • Safety​ - The safety is further refined as free and strong safety. The strong safety is generally a specialist against the run, while the free safety is a pass coverage specialist. The safety abbreviation is S or SS or FS.
  • Cornerback​ - The cornerback defends the wide receiver. In man coverage, the cornerback attempts to stay close to the wide receiver and prevent the QB completing a pass. The Cornerback abbreviation is CB.
  • Defensive Tackle​ - The defensive tackle, also termed defensive end or defensive lineman, starts opposite the offensive line and attempts to move around or through the offense line and tackle the ball carrier or tackle the QB before a pass is attempted, called a sack. The defensive linemen abbreviation is either DL, DT, or DE.
  • Punter​ - The punter stands many yards away from the line of scrimmage and receives the ball from a Long Snapper. The punter kicks the ball high and far downfield, turning the ball over to the opposing team. The punt is meant to have the opposing team start on offense far away from the end-zone. The punter abbreviation is P.
  • Kicker​ - The kicker is often under-appreciated till a field goal, worth 3 points, is needed at the end of a game. The kicker attempts to kick a ball, hiked to a holder generally 7 yards from the line of scrimmage, the ball is placed with a point on the ground, laces out, and held lightly by the holder. The kicker times a run to kick the held football through the uprights at the end zone. Field goals are generally attempted within 40 yards of an end-zone, with great kickers attempting 50 yard field goals, especially in dome stadiums. The kicker is abbreviated as K.
  • Long Snapper​ - The Long Snapper is a ball hike specialist. When a punter lines up far away from the line of scrimmage, hiking the ball directly to the punter is difficult and few offensive lineman can master the skill. The Long Snapper abbreviation is LS.

What is the Running Back and the Quarterback

The quarterback and the running back cover two big aspects of the offense in football. One of these main aspects is the running game. The running backs, normally a fullback and a halfback, stand behind the offensive line. While their main duty is to run the ball down the field, running backs also catch passes and make blocks to protect the quarterback.

The other aspect is passing the ball. As leaders of the offense, quarterbacks call plays, hand the ball to the running backs, and make passes to the receivers. Quarterbacks can run with the ball, especially if there's not an open receiver down field. They also help relay play calls from the head coach to the rest of the offense.

What is an Offensive Line

The offensive line is a line of five people called offensive linemen. Offensive linemen protect the quarterback and open holes for running backs. The center's job is to snap the ball to the quarterback, to make blocks and to protect the quarterback. The guards and tackles make blocks for running backs and protect their quarterback while he throws passes. The tight end is an offensive lineman that blocks, but he also catches passes.

While there are no official statistics for offensive line, the pancake block is the stuff offensive lineman put on their highlight reels. With a pancake block, dominant offensive lineman literally put the defensive player flat on their back.

What are Wide Receivers?

Wide receivers are responsible for catching passes thrown by the quarterback. The role of the receiver is to run pass routes. They use their speed and quickness to evade the other team's defensive players as they try to get open to catch passes. Receivers also make blocks for the quarterback, for other receivers and for the running backs.

What is the Defensive Line?

Defensive tackles, defensive ends and the nose guard make up the defensive line. The nose guard plays in the center of the defensive line. His job is to stop the run up the middle. Tackles play on either side of the nose guard and try to stop the run play. In some cases, they can break through and hurry or sack the quarterback. Defensive ends play at the end of the defensive line. Ends work to sack the quarterback and try to prevent running backs from getting farther down the field.

What are Linebackers and Defensive Backfield?

Linebackers are usually the best tacklers on the team. They play behind the defensive line and are responsible for defending both run and pass plays. The defensive backfield is made up of cornerbacks and safeties. Their job is to cover the wide receivers, to break up passes and to make interceptions. They also make tackles, work to stop the run and try to sack the quarterback.

What is Special Teams?

The special teams are made up of a kicker, a punter, a long snapper and a place holder. The kicker's job is to kick the ball off at the opening of the game and after every score. He also kicks the extra points after touchdowns, and he kicks field goals when the offense cannot score a touchdown. Place holders catch the ball from the center and hold it for the kicker as he kicks extra points or field goals. Punters kick the ball when the team does not score, and the long snapper is the center who snaps the ball during punts.