A slot receiver is a smaller wide receiver who lines up behind the line of scrimmage. They are effective in catch-and-run games and can run quick routes down the field.
Slot receivers can also block defenders. Their play is designed to create mismatches against the linebackers. Whether it is a quick out or a slant, these plays are designed to make something happen in the open field.
In the NFL, slot receivers are becoming more prevalent. These players are not only faster than wide receivers, they are also more nimble. This helps them pick up defensive linemen who break through the line of scrimmage and can prevent the sack of quarterbacks.
One of the most common uses of slot receivers in the NFL is to use them in place of the tight end. This allows them to stretch the defense vertically off pure speed. Branden Cooks and Tyreek Hill are two examples of athletes who can run slap shots at speeds over 100 miles per hour.
While wide receivers are effective at running quick outs, slot receivers can be used to block defenders, pick up defensive linemen who break through the offensive line, and run slants. As such, they are a valuable addition to any team’s scouting report.
Oftentimes, slotbacks are used in place of the fullback and tight end. This is because a slotback can run a quick out and still protect the quarterback, while a wide receiver can’t.