A slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up pre-snap between the last man on the line of scrimmage (either the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. This position got its name because of where they typically line up on the field: it’s called the “slot.”
Historically, slot receivers were used only in three-receiver sets and not every play. Today, though, they’re an essential part of offenses.
They need to be able to deal with crushing blocks and move their bodies well in order to avoid defenders. They also need to be quick and agile so they can catch the ball before the defender can reach them.
The best slot receivers are fast and have excellent hands, but they must also be strong enough to absorb contact and tough enough to get past defenders. This is especially important since they often have to run complex routes that require elusion and evasion.
Players who are a good fit for the slot receiver position are also good football players, as they need to be able to read the defense and know when to make a play. They’re also able to play hard and keep their cool.
They should be able to play both out of the backfield and on the sideline, and they should have the ability to make plays in space. They should also be able to handle the physicality of the game, as they are often thrown against the wall by a defensive back and sacked frequently.
A slot receiver should be a strong athlete, but they do not need to be physically imposing like offensive linemen. They can also be shorter than wide receivers, but they must have a strong core and legs.
The NFL limits a slot receiver’s maximum height to 6’3″. They may wear any number from 1-49 or 80-89, and they are allowed to use their feet in order to get open.
Despite their size, slot receivers can still be effective in the NFL, as they are able to get open and pick up the ball in space. They are also able to move the line of scrimmage with their speed and pre-snap motion.
Coaches are extremely creative when it comes to using slot receivers in the offense. A slot receiver can run a variety of routes, from flat to corner and post. They can also be used as a receiver who can be called into pre-snap motion and carry the ball from time to time.
These players are a key part of the offenses for some of the best teams in the NFL. Some of the biggest names include Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, Keenan Allen, Robert Woods, and Tyler Lockett.
The best slot receivers are known for their ability to make plays in the red zone and to score touchdowns. They can also be used as a runner from time to time, and they are able to make the most of their short, medium, and long routes to get the ball to the QB.