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A draw play, or simply draw for short, is a type of American football play. The draw appears to be a passing play, but is actually a running play; in this way, it can be considered the opposite of the play action pass. The idea behind a draw play is to attack aggressive, pass-rushing defenses by "drawing" them upfield, leaving more open space to run the ball. Draw plays are often run out of the shotgun formation, but can also be run when the quarterback is under center. These types of draw plays are sometimes referred to as delayed handoffs.

Offensive movement during a draw play

  • The quarterback drops back to pass, just long enough to get the pass rush to come upfield.
  • The offensive linemen momentarily show pass block, but also try to push the defenders to the outside, creating a crease in the middle.
  • The running back momentarily fakes as if he's staying in to help pass protect, then takes the hand-off from the quarterback and heads upfield through the crease created by the linemen.
  • The receivers run clear-out routes downfield in order to take the defensive backs out of the play.

A variation of this play is the quarterback draw, where the quarterback himself runs the ball, instead of handing it off, meaning the running back is free to help block.

Another variation of this play is called the "wraparound draw" and takes longer to develop than a simple draw play.

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