Slot is a position on the football field where a player lines up pre-snap between the last man on the line of scrimmage (either the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. It is a unique place on the field, which helps explain why it is often referred to as the slot.
Slot receivers are drafted and signed as wide receivers, but they are known for their abilities in this position. They can run routes that a wideout cannot, so they are a key part of any offense.
They are also known for their speed, which can help them to catch the ball or run past defenders on go routes. They can also be used as blockers, particularly on outside run plays, and can pick up blitzes from the linebacker or secondary.
The slot position is a great way for a team to spread the defense out, allowing the receiver to get open and have more time to make a play. They can also be a big help to the running back, who needs a receiver in the area that can block for him on sweeps and slant runs.
To be a slot receiver, you need to be able to absorb a lot of contact and have great hands. You also need to be able to quickly get open, which is important when the quarterback is trying to pass to you.
A slot receiver is usually around 6’3” and has a stocky build, but they are not required to be small or skinny. They can be tall, too, but they need to be strong enough and fast enough to be able to blow past defenders.
The skill set that a slot receiver has is one of the most unique in all of football. They can run routes that no other wideout can, and they can do this while being a blocker on the field. They can also run with the ball, which is another key skill for this position.
They are typically more reliable and have better hands than a wideout, but this is not always the case. They can become injured easily, and they are not able to receive as many targets as an outside wide receiver, so they need to be extra reliable when they catch the ball.
Some players who have excelled in the slot are:
Hines Ward: He’s a big, strong receiver with 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns over his 14-year career. He also has a huge arm and is extremely tough.
Ernest Givins: He’s a big, strong, fast receiver who has 571 receptions for 8,215 yards and 49 touchdowns over his 10-year career. He’s also very tough and can be a great blocker on the field, so he’s an excellent choice for this position.
Juju Smith-Schuster: He’s a fast, strong receiver who can be a big blocker on the field, so he’s a good option for this position. He’s also a good receiver who can catch the ball in space.