The Slot is a position in the NFL where you’ll often see a wide receiver playing on a team that has a strong running game. This position is typically used for sweeps and slant runs, and it allows the ball carrier to break free of defenders who are trying to tackle them in the open field. Slot receivers need to have excellent speed and great hands, but they also need to be able to block.
The Slot usually lines up just behind the line of scrimmage, and he’ll be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback. Then, when the ball is snapped, the Slot will run a route that corresponds with his pre-snap alignment. This helps him to get a good jump on his routes, and it also ensures that the defense isn’t fooled by his movement.
As a blocking receiver, the Slot is often responsible for picking up blitzes from outside linebackers and secondary players. He’ll also block (or chip) on running plays designed to go outside the field, helping to seal off the outside edge of the defensive line and give the runner more room.
Normally, Slot receivers are smaller and stockier than outside wide receivers. They need to be tough enough to absorb contact in the middle of the field, and fast enough to blow past defenders who come up on them. But they don’t have to be big and strong to play the position; some of the best Slot receivers in the NFL are only 6’0” or less and weigh 180-190 pounds.
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