Slot Receivers in the NFL
A slot is a narrow or thin opening in something. In hockey, it refers to a place in the rink that is right in front of the goaltender, or the area between the two face-off circles in the offensive zone. It’s also used to describe a hole where coins can be placed.
When a player makes a well-placed one-timer from a high slot, it’s one of the best shots in the game. However, it can be tricky to cover with a slot receiver. That’s why some defenses have to add defensive backs.
Slot receivers are smaller and nimbler than wide receivers. They can also run quick routes. Generally, they’re used in multiple ball receiver formations. Often, they’re a replacement for a tight end. But, in some situations, they can also be used as a wide receiver.
Slot receivers have become more prevalent in the NFL. Players like Tyreek Hill can stretch a defense vertically off of pure speed. This can help prevent a quarterback from getting sacked. And they can create mismatches downfield, too.
Slot receivers can also be used to pick up defenders who are breaking through the line of scrimmage. As a result, they can be an effective blocker. Moreover, they can run slants, which are very useful in a catch and run game.
The slot receiver can line up slightly behind the line of scrimmage, and they can run slants or run quick routes. Depending on the play, they can create mismatches downfield. For example, they can block a defender who is rushing downfield, or they can pick up a defensive lineman who is breaking through the line of scrimmage.