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NFL positions explained

Every sport has a player who plays a different position. Similarly, in American football, there are several positions in which players play. Every player has a different role and possesses a different play style. So let’s know all the NFL positions and understand what their roles are.

NFL Positions Explained

  • Quarterback
  • Running Back
  • Wide Receiver
  • Tight End
  • Center
  • Guard
  • Nose Tackle
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Defensive End
  • Cornerback
  • Linebackers
  • Free Safety
  • Place Kicker
  • Punter
  • Kick Returner
  • Holder
  • Long Snapper

In case you missed: NFL Draft eligibility explained

NFL Positions Explained


The quarterback is the leader of the offense. He is considered the most important player on the team.

Running Back:

The running back is responsible for carrying the ball to the end zone or as far as possible.

Wide Receiver:

The wide receiver is the person who starts the play against the offensive line.

Tight End:

He is the person who blocks the other opponents to defend the quarterback.

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The center player’s role is to snap the ball back through his legs to the quarterback at the start of every down.


Guards are of two types: left guards and right guards. They are responsible for making a strong line of defensive linemen to block the opponent.

Nose Tackle:

The role of a nose tackle player is to break the line formed by the offensive center and tackle the quarterback.

Defensive Tackle:

There are two types of defensive tackle players: left tackle and right tackle. His role is to break the offensive line and make tackles to stop the person who carries the ball.

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Defensive End:

The role of the defensive end player is to stop the quarterback or other player from carrying the ball.


A cornerback is a person who blocks a wide receiver from catching the ball.


Linebackers are the all-rounders of the NFL because they are the ones who run with the ball, pass the ball to their teammates, and defend the opponent from receiving the ball.


There are two types of safety players: free safety and strong safety. Their role is to stop any players in the opposition.

Continue Reading: 20 greatest cornerbacks in NFL history

Place Kicker:

He is the person who kicks the ball on field goals and kickoffs.


Just like a placekicker, he is also responsible for kicking the ball.

Kick Returner:

He is the person who is responsible for receiving the ball on kickoffs and punts.


The holder is the person who is responsible for holding the ball during field goal attempts and extra-point time.

Long Snapper:

He is the person who is responsible for snapping the ball to the holder.

Also Read: NFL Best Cornerback Year-by-Year Since 1990

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Nikhil Lopes
Nikhil Lopes
Hello Everyone, I am Nikhil Lopes, working as the Content Editor for The Sportslite. I am a Sports Addict and love to watch & Write about them.

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