Offensive Tackle Vs Defensive Tackle What Is The Difference?

When you combine special teams, offense, and defense there are a ton of positions in the game of football. To make it even more confusing some of these positions even have the same name. This is why this article is on hand to break down the difference between offensive and defensive tackles.

Offensive tackles have the primary purpose of protecting the quarterback from defenders. While a defensive tackle’s goal is to tackle the ball carrier on rushing plays and tackle the quarterback on passing plays.


When it comes to positioning offensive tackles vs defensive tackles are quite different. Offensive tackles line up on the outside of the formation.

The offensive tackle position starts the play on either end of the offensive line.

The defensive tackle lines up in the middle of the defensive formation. These players line up on the line of scrimmage usually between the center and the guard.


The purposes of offensive tackles and defensive tackles couldn’t be more opposite, this is mostly due to the fact they play on different sides of the ball.

Offensive tackles are the players that take on the premier pass rushers on the defense. The tackle position lines up on the end of the offensive line meaning they have to deal with a pass rusher in the open field.

This makes their job especially hard which is why tackles are the highest-paid offensive linemen. On rushing plays, these tackles are meant to set the edge and not allow defenders to get past them.

Defensive tackles on the other hand have the main purpose of tackling the ball carrier. These players line up in the middle of the defense and are responsible for making sure the running back can not carry the ball down the middle of the field.

Defensive tackles are often tasked with plugging gaps on the defense forcing the runningback to stay in the backfield.

When it comes to passing plays defensive tackles will attempt to rush the passer. Since these players are in the middle of the field they are often blocked by the guard and the tackle.

In general defensive tackles do not tend to make it to the quarterback very often on passing plays.


Offensive tackles have different builds but interestingly enough are the biggest players on offense and defense.

Offensive tackles are usually tall large players with a long reach. Their large size means that defensive ends aren’t easily able to push them back into the pocket during a pass rush.

The length allows these tackles to effectively use their hands to keep pass rushers at bay.

Despite their large size tackles tend to have the lowest body fat of the offensive line positions.

Defensive ends are the heaviest players on the football field. These players tend to be middle of the pack in terms of height but are incredibly large.

Defensive tackles are regarded as the strongest players in football. Despite their strength, many players at this position do not look like they are in good shape.

Defensive tackles tend to have the highest body fat percentage of any position in football. Oftentimes these players will have large beer bellies yet still be incredibly effective on the field.

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