The slot, as its name suggests, is the position in an offense that lines up between the last player on the line of scrimmage (often the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receivers. The slot receiver primarily handles the middle of the field on passing plays, but can also be an important blocker on running plays, especially sweeps and slants. It takes a special skill set to excel in the slot, and the best ones are often a team’s secret weapon.
The position got its name because of where it normally lines up pre-snap — between the outside wide receiver and the tight end or offensive tackle. Generally, the slot is a step or two off of the line of scrimmage, giving it a more agile and flexible position than outside wide receivers who are closer to the line. That also allows them to do things that their outside counterparts cannot, making them a very valuable member of any offense.
As far as skills go, the slot receiver needs to be very versatile and have top-notch route running capabilities. They typically need to master every route in the book, including inside and outside, short and deep. They need to be able to read defenses and have excellent timing with the quarterback, and they also need to have good hands. Slot receivers tend to be smaller and stockier than outside wide receivers, but they can still be big, as long as they are tough enough to absorb contact in the middle of the field and fast enough to blow past defenders.
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If you’re a football fan, then you know that the slot is one of the most important positions in the game. Slot receivers are responsible for catching a lot of passes and helping the team win. In fact, some of the greatest slot receivers in NFL history have been Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Juju Smith-Schuster.