What Is a Slot Receiver?

A slit or narrow opening. A slot may be used to hold a card or coin, or it may be an aperture in the side of a door or window.

In football, a player who lines up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage and can go up, in, or out is known as a slot receiver. These players are a threat to do almost anything on the field and must have excellent chemistry with their quarterbacks.

They also have to be able to run every route possible, as they will be asked to do so often, and they must be precise with their timing. They are also required to block at times, particularly on outside run plays and in order to pick up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players.

Because of where they line up, slot receivers are often asked to carry the ball as well. This is most commonly seen on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. In these instances, they are called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and then handed the ball once the snap is made.

Those who have excelled in the slot position over the years include the likes of Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, Tyler Lockett, and Juju Smith-Schuster. In addition to their speed and route running abilities, these players have a unique skill set that has helped them become some of the best wide receivers in the NFL. They are typically shorter, stockier, and more muscular than their wide receiver counterparts, making them a much more physical receiving threat.