What Is A Possession Receiver? – Football Terminology

A possession receiver is a player whose skill set offers incredible consistency catching the ball and picking up needed yards. These types of receivers typically don’t beat defenders over the top. But despite their lack of straight-line speed possession receivers are often the go-to guy on the offense.

What is A Possession Receiver’s Role?

A possession receiver’s job is to be the player that consistently gets open and catches the ball when the team needs yards. A possession receiver should be the go-to guy that the team can trust on an important play.

These players typically beat defenders through quality route running and football IQ.

It is not always the case but oftentimes possession receivers lack some of the athletic ability that most receivers have yet still put up great numbers year in and year out.

A possession receiver usually tends to have the strength or positioning to consistently win contested balls. This is the type of receiver you can throw the ball to on a fade or comeback and expect them to come down with the ball.

Since these players lack elite speed they tend to excel in other traits which allow them to succeed at the NFL level. These traits are usually centered around route running, strength, consistency, and sure-handedness.

Where Does A Possession Receiver Line Up?

The term possession receiver does not refer to a position but rather a style of the receiver.

For the most part, these receivers line up on the outside near the sideline. This is because the majority of possession receivers are wide receivers.

On some occasions, football fans will refer to tight ends as possession receivers if they fit the description. 

A tight end like Jason Witten is a great example of a possession receiver that can be trusted to move the chains. 

This means a possession receiver may line up just about anywhere a receiving threat does on the field. Though it is relatively rare for possession receivers to line up in the slot as this role is typically filled by quicker smaller players.

Possession Receivers Vs Deep Threat Receivers?

The main difference between these kinds of receivers is that a deep threat receiver has elite levels of speed. A deep threat receiver is going to have a top-end speed faster than a cornerback. This allows them to get open for deep balls.

Possession receivers typically can’t beat cornerbacks on speed alone meaning that have to find other ways to get open. 

This can be done through route running, finding holes in zones, or via strength.

Who Are Some Examples Of A Possession Receiver?

If you are looking for some possession receivers to watch on Sundays there are plenty to choose from. 

Some of the best-possession receivers in the NFL include Larry Fitzgerald, Micheal Thomas, Allen Robinson.

You will notice that not all NFL teams have a possession receiver but there are still many around the league. And many of these possession receivers are their teams’ number one option.

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