Slot Receivers in the NFL

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Slot receivers get their name from where they line up pre-snap on the field, positioning themselves between the last man on the line of scrimmage (either the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside wide receiver. They’re typically shorter and stockier than traditional wide receivers, but they’re also fast enough to blow past defenders and run precise routes.

The emergence of the slot receiver in the NFL has revolutionized offenses and forced defenses to alter their game plans to counter them. Teams are utilizing their versatile skill sets to make them indispensable pieces of their attack. Some of the best slot receivers in the league have even earned more targets than the team’s No. 2 and No. 1 receivers.

In football, a slot receiver is someone who lines up inside the wide receivers and splits the defensive coverage. They’re usually a little bit shorter than the outside wide receivers and more nimble, which allows them to run precise patterns to the middle of the field. They’re also incredibly fast, which lets them easily beat cover cornerbacks and safety backs to the ball.

A good slot receiver will also have excellent hands and solid route-running skills. They’ll need to be able to catch everything from short-to-intermediate routes, all the way up to deep patterns that require them to break off and separate from the defender. In most cases, slot receivers will be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and have to block for both running backs and wide receivers on outside run plays. They’ll also provide protection on reverses and end-arounds, picking up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players.

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