NFL Slot Receivers


A slot is a position in an NFL offense that typically lines up between the wide receivers and tight end. This position requires a very precise route-running ability, a quick release, and the ability to avoid getting hit by defenders. Slot receivers also often act as a running back on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds, so they need to be able to block well, too.

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Slot receivers need to have a very precise route-running ability, because they are usually shorter and smaller than outside wide receivers. They must be able to run both inside and outside routes, and they need to be able to get open quickly. They also need to be able to run short and deep routes.

Many Slot receivers also need to carry the ball like a running back from time to time. This is particularly true for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. On these plays, the Slot receiver will usually line up pre-snap in the direction of his route before the quarterback snaps the ball. This gives him a head of steam and allows him to escape the defense’s best tacklers.

Slot receivers need to be very quick and nimble, because they often have to beat multiple defenders on each play. They also need to be able to make adjustments on the fly. Despite these challenges, Slot receivers have become some of the most valuable players in the NFL. Some of the most successful Slot receivers in history include Wes Welker, Charlie Joiner, and Andre Rison. These players helped to create the modern Slot receiver position. Many current top-tier receivers – such as Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., and DeAndre Hopkins – also spend a significant amount of time in the Slot. This position has only become more popular in recent years. However, it has been an important position for decades.