The slot is a narrow opening between the line of scrimmage and the offensive linemen, used to set wide receivers. The term is also used to describe a slot back.
The slot receiver’s role has become an integral part of any NFL team’s offense, but a few players stand out above the rest. Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, Keenan Allen, Tyler Lockett, Robert Woods and Juju Smith-Schuster are some of the best receivers in the league that thrive in this role.
Slot receivers are a threat on all types of passing plays, and can run a variety of routes — to the inside and outside, deep and short. Their ability to block allows them to pick up blitzes from defensive players and provide protection for running backs on outside runs.
A good slot receiver knows when to run and when to block, and how to get on the same page with their quarterback so they can be successful. They also need to have an excellent awareness of the field and know which defenders are where.
They are fast and strong, and they can be effective in the open field or when lined up behind the line of scrimmage. They’re often a little shorter and stockier than outside wide receivers, but they have great route-running skills and are fast enough to be the ball carrier from time to time.
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