The slot is the area of the field between and slightly behind the outermost tackle (or tight end) and the wide receiver. The slot receiver is a position that has become increasingly important to football teams as the offenses have moved to running alignments with at least three wide receivers more frequently than they were in the past.
The role of the slot receiver
Slot receivers are essential to a team’s success. They provide the quarterback with a versatile and reliable option when throwing the ball, as well as an extra blocker for running the ball outside. They also help keep the defense from getting too involved in the passing game, so that the offense can focus on running the ball.
Their skill set
A good slot receiver will have the ability to run any passing route that the quarterback may throw, including inside, deep, and short passes. This means that they should be fast, strong, and have great route-running skills. They will also have a strong arm and the ability to make all kinds of reads on the ball, as well as make plays in the open.
They are also a great fit for teams that are looking to run more spread offenses, as they can stretch the field and attack all three levels of defense, as well as provide protection for the quarterback. That’s why it’s so important for a slot receiver to have great hands and speed.
In the NFL, slot receivers can wear any number from 1 to 49, though they’re allowed to wear numbers 80-89 as well. This is a change from the year’s past, as the NFL had previously only allowed wide receivers to wear numbers 10-19 or 80-89.
Their size and strength
A slot receiver is typically smaller and less bulky than an outside wide receiver, but they still need to have the toughness to withstand contact in the middle of the field. They are also usually more agile than a wide receiver, so they have to be able to move quickly around the field to avoid defenders.
Their height and build
A slot receiver must be taller than an outside wide receiver, but not as tall as a tight end. This allows them to use their length to create space for a running play, as well as to get a little deeper in the hole to stop a defender’s initial jump.
Their size and strength
A great slot receiver is usually about 6’3′′ and between 250 and 290 pounds, although some are taller than that. They can also have a strong arm and good hands to help them catch the ball.
They are also quick and have the speed to blow past incoming defenders. They also have the ability to break through the line of scrimmage to make big plays on the ground.
Their route-running abilities
A strong slot receiver will have excellent route-running skills, and they’ll be able to cover just about any defensive player in the game. They’ll be able to read the defensive backs and know when to go downfield or to the sidelines to get open.