Modern NFL Positions

Hey all,

Been taking a hiatus from fanposting after the draft finished. Now that the summer is here it's time for me to reassess my scouting setup (gotta change it every year just to make sure I'm doing the best I can).

I'm running into a philosophical debate with myself, so I wanted to let you guys know what I'm thinking and get some input from the BR Community.

Are the NFL positions as we know them the best way to group/classify players? Madden of course has its well known system of positions, which can sometimes be exploited due to its weak points (take any halfway decent ROLB in that game and move him to DE, watch him become an All-Pro). There are the well-known position groups: QB, RB, FB, TE, OT/G/C, DT, DE, OLB, MLB, CB, FS, SS.

Then there are some odd cases that come up. For example, Nickel CB. Is that just a CB, or its own position? Offensive Weapons like Dri Archer or Denard Robinson or Brad Smith, who are a sort of hybrid RB/WR. Is safety still demarcated between FS and SS, or has the line blurred enough to make safety one position? And then the linebacker situation is a complete mess. We have the old Sam/Mike/Will system for 4-3 (Fun fact: Everyone's favorite talked about too much player Michael Sam's middle name is William. So he is in fact a Mike Will Sam), we have the Jack LB for traditional 3-4 teams, the nickel LB, the elephant LB, the "robber" safety/LB, the 2-down run stopping ILB... where do we classify those guys?

And then, if you want to take it a step further, the guy who runs the Fanatical Yankee website has in fact gone and reclassified all NFL positions, even creating some roles which aren't really used in the NFL yet.

So as I prepare my scouting notes for next year's crop, here are my proposed "new" roles, and some ones I still have questions about:

-No more FB. If they are more like a running back, I treat them as an RB. An H-back type, I classify them as one of the tight ends.

-Added a position called SB (Slotback), which is basically the offensive weapon + pass catching RB + slot specialist on a team. More of a Marquise Goodwin than a Wes Welker or Stevie Johnson.

-Separated tight ends into Inline tight ends (TE) and "flex" move tight ends (FE). The former is like a Troy Niklas while the latter is more of a Chris Gragg.

-Defensive line has been revamped/renamed to help with the similar roles with different names in 3-4/4-3 defenses. Gap Cloggers (GC) are basically your Nose Tackle types. Gap Rushers (GR) are the Kyle Williams/Geno Atkins playmakers from the interior. Edge Setters (ES) are the defensive ends usually responsible for defending the run and keeping contain, what you'd consider your 5-technique end. Edge Rushers (ER) are the star pass rushers, AKA the Jerry Hughes/Mario Williams/Von Miller types.

So in summary so far:

SB (Slotback)
FE (Flex tight End)
GC (Gap Clogger)
GR (Gap Rusher)
ES (Edge Setter)
ER (Edge Rusher)

That leaves me with linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties.

Right now I think I'm planning to leave cornerback as is. I think that if there is a nickel specialist who's a corner, I can just note his smaller stature when evaluating him.

Safeties I'm leaning towards merging into one position (which I would designate DS, Defensive Safety, to avoid having any positions with only one letter). Again, I think I can use my detailed scouting notes to mention if a player is particularly good or bad at an area which might limit him to "in the box" or a coverage role.

As for linebackers... I don't know. What do you guys think? How should I classify linebackers? I could go the extreme route and just have one position (LB). I could classify ILB/OLB. I could classify 2-down/3-down/specialist LBs. Or I could have WLB/SLB/MLB/ILB (2-down MLB)/RLB (Robber LB, S/LB Hybrid)/ELB (Elephant LB, LB/ER hybrid).

What would you do? Also, if you have any comments about other position groups or how I grouped them, or any other questions/comments, let me know.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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