What Is a Slot Receiver?

In football, a slot receiver is the second wide receiver on an offense, often lined up directly behind the team’s starting wide receiver. Slot receivers are named for their position and their alignment, since they line up in the middle of the field, slightly behind the team’s outside wide receivers and in front of the offensive linemen. They’re also crucial blockers on running plays that run to the middle of the field, such as slants and sweeps.

Because they’re closer to the line of scrimmage than outside wide receivers, slot receivers tend to be smaller and quicker than their counterparts. They’re also typically specialized route runners, which requires great speed and precision.

The most important trait of a slot receiver is his versatility. He needs to be able to run a wide variety of routes, including those that go up, in, and out. This allows him to create mismatches against defensive backs, which can lead to big plays.

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