A slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up pre-snap between the last man on the line of scrimmage (either the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. This is how the position got its name, and it’s becoming a popular part of NFL offenses.
Slot receivers often have a high ceiling, seeing more targets than the top two or three receivers on their team. They’re also more versatile than the traditional wide receiver, having a variety of skills that outside receivers don’t have.
They don’t have to deal devastating blows, but they do need to be strong and tough enough to absorb contact in the middle of the field. They’re also typically faster than most traditional wide receivers, so they can make quick moves past defenders on passing plays.
Some of the best slot receivers in the game have great speed, but they also have top-notch route-running skills. This is because they’re smaller and shorter than most outside wide receivers, so they have to be able to run precise routes.
In addition to catching the ball, slot receivers also need to be able to block for their running back or wideout. They’ll usually pick up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players, but they’ll also need to seal off the outside on running plays that involve them.
Slot receivers are a vital part of the game, so it’s important to be familiar with them. They can provide a huge boost to a quarterback’s passing game, and are a great option for any offense.