Once you get to the professional level of football there are set body type standards for each position. For example, you can’t have a 5’5 one hundred fifty pound offensive lineman or a 6’6 two hundred pound middle linebacker.
Certain heights and weights are expected for players to be able to excel in certain positions. Using data you can see how accurately physical traits can predict a players success.
For example how many quarterbacks that won the Superbowl were under six feet tall? The answer is not many.
A tweener in football is a player whose physical build and skills fit between two positions rather than one. For example, a player may be in between the ideal physical build for cornerback and safety.
These players are usually limited in either of the positions which makes them less likely to be drafted at the NFL level.
Tweeners are often able to perform effectively at the collegiate level as they are more likely to be used in a versatile manner.
Though a lack of a positional fit at the NFL level often leaves these players struggling to find consistent playing time.
Examples Of Positional Tweeners
Defensive End Linebacker
Their lack of speed at their size makes them too slow to play linebacker at an NFL level.
And though their size and strength is usually adequate in college it is often not enough for the pros.
This leaves these players stuck between two positions.
Running Back Wide Receiver
Running back wide receiver tweeners is another common occurrence seen in college football. Oftentimes these players can play both these positions in college, usually making a great impact on their team.
At the next level, these players are usually forced to pick a position but in most cases they make it work. Even though these players fit two positions general managers will often see a position for them on their team.
There are many NFL players that have made the switch between these two positions from college to the NFL. If you look into these players you will find that many of them are tweeners between the two positions.
Oftentimes these players will play a role in one of the positions that compliment their skills. For example, a tweener may play a receiving back role due to his ability to catch the ball as an ex receiver.
Safety and cornerback are two positions that college defensive backs find themselves choosing between.
Cornerbacks tend to be faster slimmer players while safeties need to be a bit bigger to contribute in the run.
Many players end up in between these two positions, not enough size to stop the run yet not agile enough to run with an NFL wide receiver.
In these situations, these players often find themselves out of luck due to being in between two positions. That being said the NFL has become more creative in recent years. And if a player is talented enough they will find a way to use him regardless of if he fits between two positions.