What Is An undersized Player In Football?

An undersized player in football refers to a player that does not fit the prototypical size for his position.

In the game of football, each position has specific responsibilities. These responsibilities vary so much across the positions that each requires very different body types.

When players play a position and don’t fit the prototype they are considered an undersized player.

Undersized players can still succeed at their position but it is much more difficult. These players will have to overcome the disadvantages of their frame but if they are skilled enough it is possible.


Weight is one of the biggest factors that play into a player being considered undersized.

Many positions in football require a certain amount of weight in order to play the position effectively.

This is especially true for offensive and defensive linemen.

Players that play on the offensive line require a large amount of weight in order to make them effective blockers.

If these players are too light the defenders will be able to easily move them out of the way in order to get to the quarterback.

For this reason, lack of weight can lead to a player being labelled undersized.


Height is another factor that plays into a player being considered undersized. Though players need to meet a certain weight they also need to have the frame to play the position.

A position like a linebacker would be one that requires a certain level of height. If a linebacker prospect was five nine for example he would be noticeably undersized for the position at the top level.

This height would be fine for a wide receiver or running back but does not fit the mould of a linebacker.

At this height, a linebacker may struggle to have the size to take on blocks as well as have difficulties stopping opponents such as tight ends in the passing game.

Height plays a role in many different positions and often is the main factor determining what position a player will play when first taking up football.

For years height was considered to be a key factor in quarterback evaluation. But in recent years many undersized quarterbacks have found success in the league.

Undersized traits

On top of being undersized as a whole, there are also a few attributes teams like to measure to determine the quality of a player’s size.

Hand measurements is a common factor that is weighed heavily into quarterback play.

To fit the mould of a quarterback professional teams want to have a certain size hand to grasp the football.

Teams also heavily weigh a player’s arm length in certain positions. Positions like defensive end and wide receivers put a large focus on arm length as it can make a big difference in their ability.

All in all undersized players in football refer to players that lack the prototypical frame and measurements of their specific position.

If you enjoyed this guide on undersized players you may want to learn about tweeners in american football or mismatches between the offense and defense.

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