A slot is an area of space in the wing or tail surface of an airplane where air can enter and exit. A slot is often used as an auxiliary airfoil, providing a smooth flow of air for high lift or control.
In football, a slot receiver is a position that is between the last player on the line of scrimmage (Tight End or Offense) and the outside receiver. The slot is often used by passing offenses, which typically use more power and athletes in space than teams that run a traditional West Coast system.
When it comes to slot receivers, the most important things to look for are speed and athleticism. These skills can help them get open, especially on short passes and passes behind the line of scrimmage.
Slot receivers also need to be able to read the defense and make quick decisions. They should be able to see and understand where the defense is in their formation, so they can make sure to line up in the right spot to receive the ball.
They need to have great chemistry with their quarterback, and they must be able to run routes quickly and efficiently to make a difference in the game. They should be able to move in and out of coverage and make plays on the fly, as well as read the quarterback’s movements and throws.
Because of their speed, Slot receivers can be a big help on running plays, too. On pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds, the offense will often call Slot receivers into pre-snap motion so they can carry the ball out of the backfield. This will give them a head of steam and allow them to find open space and avoid getting hit by the defense’s best tacklers.
The slot receiver’s position has become increasingly popular in recent years, as offenses are relying on the 3-1 receiver/back alignment. This has led to more Slot receivers being targeted than ever before.
Traditionally, slot receivers have been the third or fourth wide receiver on the team. However, that stigma has changed in recent years and now Slot receivers are seen as a separate position all by themselves.
Some of the most famous Slot Receivers include Wayne Chrebet, Wes Welker, Charlie Joiner, Julian Edelman, and Andre Rison.
Slot receivers are often called a “secondary” because they don’t have to deal with the same amount of physical contact as other wide receivers, but they still need to know how to properly position themselves to prevent defenders from rushing the ball carrier. It’s not uncommon for Slot Receivers to catch passes in the end zone, too, which helps them stay fresh and enables them to be a big part of their team’s offense.
While slot receivers are usually considered the second or third wide receiver in an offense, there are a number of players that are good fits at this position. Some of the best Slot receivers in the NFL include Tyler Boyd, Cooper Kupp, CeeDee Lamb, and Justin Jefferson.