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Football Receiver Types

What are the Receiver Types in Football?

There are a few different variations and titles of different receivers in a football game, like the wide receiver, tight end, running back, and the slot receiver. Let's learn about their specific roles and responsibilities within a game.

Overview of Receivers

Receivers, regardless of which specific type, are one of the most important playmakers of the team. Their main responsibility is to find open lanes to run and avoid defenders so they can catch long or short passes from the quarterback.

Wide Receiver

The wide receivers are the most common type of receiver on a football team. There are usually two wide receivers positioned on each of the sidelines. They are typically the fastest runner on the team as they have to break away from defenders.

PRO TIP: The wide receivers get their names because they typically position themselves out wide on the field.

Tight End

The tight end is a type of wide receiver with many of the same responsibilities as the offensive linemen. Tight ends work as runners, blockers, and receivers. Because of their versatile roles, they have to be aware of where their teammates and opponents are during each play. Tight ends are usually the tallest on the team and are just behind the wide receivers when it comes to speed.


There are many types and roles of halfbacks on the team. Running backs are members of the offensive backfield line and their main job is to successfully take handoffs from the quarterback. He also can catch passes from the backfield or serve as a blocker. Halfbacks primary role is to carry the ball and serve as a receiver where needed.


The slotback is positioned between the wide receiver and the last offensive lineman. They work as running backs and receivers, like many other players, stepping in where they are needed. Slotbacks are the preferred players to receive short passes because they are positioned near the quarterback.

PRO TIP: A slotback is often called the "third wide receiver" because his roles mimic the roles of a wide receiver.