The slot receiver is a versatile and essential position in today’s NFL. They are an excellent pass-catching option for a quarterback who wants to stretch out the field and attack all three levels of the defense.
They often run a “go route” in which they are asked to move past the secondary (usually the safety), which gives them a large window of open space and a chance to receive the ball. As a result, slot receivers need to be quick and agile, as well as have the ability to absorb a lot of contact while running the route.
Speed – A slot receiver’s speed allows them to run past the defensive backs on go routes and make it to the end zone without getting hit by defenders. This speed also helps them to break a tackle or to block an outside blitzing linebacker, giving the quarterback an extra option when throwing the ball.
Hands – A slot receiver must have excellent hands to be successful in the slot, as they are often targeted and receive many passes from the quarterback. They also have to be strong enough to absorb a lot of contact while catching the ball.
A slot receiver is not as big and stocky as a wide receiver, but they are still tough enough to be able to absorb the hits they take. They are generally 6’3” or shorter and weigh between 150 and 200 pounds.
These players can also be very physical, as they are asked to block a large number of defenders on the outside. This can be particularly useful for running the ball outside, as it gives a running back more space to operate.
The slot receiver is an important player in every offense, but they have special skills that separate them from the rest of the wideouts on the field. This makes them a key member of the team, and one who the offense will often use during key moments in the game.
They can also be an excellent decoy, as they will frequently run in the direction of the pre-snap motion of a quarterback and act as a huge target for the next play. This is often done when a quarterback is in a hurry and doesn’t want to hand off the ball to a wideout right away.
As a bonus, slot receivers can be a great decoy for other offensive players, too. If the quarterback throws a pass in their direction, they will quickly turn and sprint out of the pocket and into open field. They’re also excellent snatchers, as they can catch the ball in traffic or in the end zone with ease.
Despite the fact that slot receivers are a vital part of any NFL offense, they don’t get a ton of press attention. This is due in large part to the fact that many top wideouts, such as Odell Beckham Jr., Stefon Diggs, and Julio Jones, regularly line up in the slot from time to time.