As its name suggests, the slot is a receiver position that lines up a few steps behind the line of scrimmage. Its unique positioning gives it an array of opportunities that outside wide receivers can’t replicate, and the position is becoming more important every year as players develop the requisite skill set.
Unlike most other wide receiver positions, the slot requires the ability to run a variety of passing routes. Because they typically line up a few steps back from the defense, these receivers must be extra-fast and precise in their route running. This is especially true on runs to the inside and outside, as well as deep patterns.
Additionally, Slot receivers must be good blockers. Their pre-snap alignment often dictates the defense’s blitz packages, and they may need to seal off outside linebackers and safeties on running plays that go to the outside portion of the field. They’ll also be required to chip (or at least occupy) nickelbacks on rushing plays, and they may even need to perform a crack back block on defensive ends.
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