Is This NFL Star a Quarterback or Cornerback?

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By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: NFL

About This Quiz

It's third-and-long, and the offense is down by seven in the fourth quarter with less than five minutes on the clock. They need a completion, and the star quarterback knows he has to make a play. But there's one thing standing in his way — that defensive secondary on the other side of the field. Those cornerbacks know the pass is coming, and they're biting at the bit to have an opportunity to make a play themselves.

Quarterbacks and cornerbacks are the closest things to mortal enemies on the football field. Their objectives are the complete opposite. Quarterbacks want to complete passes to their wide receivers, while cornerbacks wish to shut down opposing receivers from catching any pass thrown their way. These conflicting objectives lead to some fierce competition on the football field, as inches sometimes separate a victory from a loss.

How well do you know the best quarterbacks and cornerbacks competing against one another in the game today? If you're given a star player, will you know if they're lining up on defense or offense? Here's your chance to find out. Make sure you're ready before you get started, though, because this quiz is going to throw some tough names in your direction.

Richard Sherman again reached the Super Bowl during the 2019 season. Did he reach it as a quarterback or cornerback?

Richard Sherman's career seemed to be derailed after he tore his Achilles tendon in 2017. However, he returned to form, or an approximation to it, in 2019 and even earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection.

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What position allows Quinton Dunbar to show off his elite vision and anticipation?

Despite only recording four interceptions in 2019, Quinton Dunbar was a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks who averaged a dismal 68.4 passer rating against him. But even with the stellar play, Dunbar wasn't named to the Pro Bowl.

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Do you know if Lamar Jackson is using his electrifying speed at quarterback or cornerback?

Lamar Jackson took the NFL by storm in 2019 when he set the NFL rushing record for a quarterback by rushing for 1,206 yards on 6.9 yards per carry. That, combined with his 43 total touchdowns, helped him earn the NFL MVP.

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Drew Brees is a perennial Pro Bowler at which position?

At 41 years old, Drew Brees is definitely beyond his prime, but that doesn't mean he isn't still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. After all, Brees played at such a high level that even in decline, he's able to complete 74.3 percent of his passes.

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Can you match Patrick Mahomes to the position where he makes highlight after highlight?

After reaching the AFC Championship Game at the end of the 2018 season, Patrick Mahomes helped his team reach the Super Bowl the following year. His regular-season numbers weren't quite as spectacular in 2019, but he still threw for over 4,000 yards with a passer rating of 105.3.

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Stephon Gilmore has been one of the most reliable players on his side of the field. Is that because he plays quarterback or cornerback?

Stephon Gilmore is one of the few NFL corners who can accept an assignment against just about any receiver and deliver without help around him. His skill set as a lockdown defender helped the New England Patriots' defense put up some of the best numbers in the league.

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Have you seen Russell Wilson play enough football to know what position be plays?

Critics often classify Russell Wilson as nothing more than a game manager who relies on his weapons and defense to win games. However, he's been much more than that for the Seattle Seahawks, as he always makes plays when called upon and has one of the best passer ratings since he entered the NFL.

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Few players can bait the other side of the ball quite like Marcus Peters, who plays which position?

Marcus Peters is one of those cornerbacks who's always thinking one step ahead. His forward-thinking has led to five interceptions in the 2019 NFL season, three of which he returned for touchdowns.

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Does the patience of Casey Hayward Jr. help him perform at quarterback or cornerback?

A defender known for his man-to-man coverage, Casey Hayward Jr. has the awareness and speed to stay attached to a receiver's hip. Always in the position to make a play, Hayward only allowed 26 completions in the 47 times that he was targeted in 2019.

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One of the most balanced players at his position, where does Deshaun Watson play on the field?

Deshaun Watson was an electrifying player at Clemson before he entered the 2017 NFL Draft, where the Houston Texans took him in the first round. In college, Watson was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and delivered a national championship to the Tigers in 2016.

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A starter who became a backup before again becoming a starter, what position does Ryan Tannehill play?

After several up and down seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill was traded to the Tennessee Titans in 2019. Initially, he was supposed to sit on the bench behind Marcus Mariota, but Tannehill was given the starting job in Week 7 and never looked back.

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Match Aaron Rodgers to the position where he's one of the top players in the league.

Aaron Rodgers set the single-season NFL passer rating record in 2011, finishing the season with a rating of 122.5. He also threw for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns, which earned him his first NFL MVP.

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Recognized for his knowledge of the game, has Tramon Williams used that knowledge at quarterback or cornerback?

At 36 years old, Tramon Williams isn't a young buck in the NFL anymore, but he's still performing at a high level. His best attribute is his ability to play inside and outside, covering both slot receivers and wideouts.

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Steven Nelson has an understanding of defensive schemes that allows him to adapt to any situation quickly. Does his knowledge of the game help him at quarterback or cornerback?

The Pittsburgh Steelers desperately needed to fix their secondary coming into the 2019 NFL season, and they accomplished that by adding Steven Nelson to the roster. Nelson immediately made an impact, helping the Steelers reach number three in pass defense.

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Do you know enough about Kirk Cousins to match him to the correct position?

Kirk Cousins had to make some adjustments in 2019 to get his teammates behind him, but once everyone was on the same page, Cousins was able to lead the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs. They even got a win against the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round before losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

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Can you identify the position that allows Brian Poole to use his brilliant mind on pre-snap reads?

A four-year veteran, Brian Poole recorded the first safety of his career in Week 1 of the 2019 season. Facing off against the Buffalo Bills, Poole stuffed a play against Frank Gore, giving his team two points.

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Is Jason McCourty a star quarterback or cornerback in the NFL?

Jason McCourty joined his brother, Devin McCourty, on the New England Patriots in 2018. That season, he won the only Super Bowl of his career when the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams.

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Injuries are the only thing that has kept Carson Wentz from showing off his star power at which position?

Carson Wentz was a favorite to win the NFL MVP in 2017 before he tore his ACL in Week 14 of the regular season. His team went on to win the Super Bowl that year behind the arm of backup quarterback Nick Foles.

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Matt Ryan relies on his experience to be elite. Where does that experience pay off?

A four-time Pro Bowler and NFL MVP, Matt Ryan has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since he entered the league in 2008. However, the one thing the veteran quarterback has yet to capture is a championship.

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Will you be able to match D.J. Hayden to the position where he excels at playing in traffic?

There was plenty of hype surrounding D.J. Hayden when he was drafted with the 12th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. In 2019, Hayden showed why he was so valued by not allowing a single passing touchdown all season.

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Are you familiar with the position that Dak Prescott competes at?

Dak Prescott was initially drafted to be the backup quarterback to Tony Romo in Dallas. However, in his rookie season, Prescott was thrown into the fray after Romo suffered an injury. Prescott didn't disappoint his rookie season, earning a place in the Pro Bowl while also leading the Cowboys to the playoffs.

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A young star in the league, what position does Jaire Alexander play in the NFL?

Despite his age, Jaire Alexander is always up for a challenge, often accepting the task of guarding the other team's top wide receiver. He hasn't disappointed in that role, allowing opposing quarterbacks a 53.6 completion percentage in 2019.

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The aggressive play of Marlon Humphrey makes him a difficult player to deal with at which position?

Entering the league in 2017, Marlon Humphrey made his first Pro Bowl in 2019 while playing for the Baltimore Ravens. Humphrey is particularly good on throws beyond 10 yards, as he excels at reading double moves.

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No one can question the championship pedigree of Tom Brady. Has that pedigree helped him at quarterback or cornerback?

No player in NFL history has won more Super Bowls than Tom Brady, who currently has six titles. Three of those championships were won in the last six years when Brady was over 35 years old, which is typically when a player begins to decline.

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Select the position where Jimmy Garoppolo has come on strong in recent years.

Even though it took Jimmy Garoppolo a few seasons to get his first start, he was able to win his first seven games as a starter when he finally moved up the depth chart. However, he wouldn't start every regular-season game until 2019, the same year he led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl.

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Can you match Shaquill Griffin to the position where he can locate and track receivers?

Shaquill Griffin was one of the few bright spots for the Seattle Seahawks' secondary during the 2019 season. Seattle's defense was 27th in passing yards allowed, but Griffin remained consistent all year, earning a place in the Pro Bowl for the first time.

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K'Waun Williams can read passing routes like few other players in the league. Does this help him be elite at quarterback or cornerback?

K'Waun Williams' greatest skill is not allowing completions to turn into big plays down the field. In 2019, Williams only allowed 8.7 yards per completion and limited quarterbacks to a 76.1 passer rating.

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An incredible athlete, is Kyler Murray a quarterback or cornerback?

The Arizona Cardinals made Kyler Murray the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, setting the stage for him to start every game his rookie season. There were some ups and downs for Murray, but overall, he showed just how explosive of a talent he can be moving forward.

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Do you know the position that Patrick Peterson has proven he's one of the best at?

Patrick Peterson spent much of the 2019 season injured, so his numbers weren't as impressive as previous years. Still, he's an eight-time Pro Bowler who's still in his prime, so even in a down year, he's still great.

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It's hard to believe that Derek Carr is still trying to prove himself, but that's exactly what he's doing at which position?

Derek Carr has been a star for the Oakland Raiders ever since he entered the NFL in 2014. He holds several career records for the franchise, including passing yards, passing completions and completion percentage.

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Even though he took a step back in 2019, where is Jared Goff still competing at a high level?

When Sean McVay became the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, it immediately changed the direction of Jared Goff's career. Before McVay's arrival, Goff was viewed as a bust, but under his new head coach, he made back to back Pro Bowls.

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Jalen Ramsey is an intense competitor. Identify the position where that competitiveness benefits him.

After three and a half seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jalen Ramsey was engulfed in controversy because of his damaged relationship with Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars' executive vice president. The feud eventually led to Ramsey being traded to the Los Angeles Rams, where he excelled for the rest of the season.

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Are you familiar enough with Byron Jones to know what position he plays?

Byron Jones made the Pro Bowl in 2018 after he allowed only 52.5 percent of the passes thrown his way to be completed. Overall, he held opposing quarterbacks to an 84.7 passer rating, a number he nearly matched in 2019.

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The seventh overall pick in 2018, what position does Josh Allen compete at?

Josh Allen helped the Buffalo Bills achieve a Wild Card spot in the 2019 NFL Playoffs after a season where he proved how dynamic he could be by both throwing and running the football. He finished the regular season with 3,089 passing yards and 510 rushing yards.

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Is Darius Slay playing for a new contract at quarterback or cornerback?

Finally coming into his prime, Darius Slay made three straight Pro Bowls between 2017 and 2019. His 2017 numbers were particularly great as he recorded eight interceptions, the most of his career.

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Will you be able to match Cam Newton to the position where he's been one of the most exciting players to watch?

After throwing for 35 touchdowns and rushing for another 10, Cam Newton was named the NFL MVP in 2015. That year, he led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl, but they ultimately lost to the Denver Broncos.

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Can you identify the position that Philip Rivers has been playing in the NFL since 2004?

Philip Rivers has been an elite quarterback in the NFL ever since he became the full-time starter for the Chargers in 2006. He holds several NFL records, including the most consecutive completions in a game with 25.

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Kyle Fuller completes one of the best units at which position on the field?

Kyle Fuller made the First-Team All-Pro in 2018 after having the best season of his career. Playing for the Chicago Bears, Fuller recorded seven interceptions and deflected 21 passes that season.

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Has Chris Harris Jr. been good enough on the field for you to match him to the correct position?

Chris Harris Jr. wasn't quite as effective in 2019 as he was in previous seasons, but he still started every game for the Denver Broncos. He recorded his lone interceptions on the season in Week 6 in a 16-0 win over the Tennessee Titans.

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Do you know if Daniel Jones is in his first season as a quarterback or cornerback?

The New York Giants surprised many fans when they decided to draft Daniel Jones with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Only a few weeks into the season, Jones ended up replacing Giants' legend Eli Manning, as he set out to show why he was drafted so high.

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