Slot Receivers in the NFL
The slot is an important cog in the offensive game, as he lines up a few steps off the line of scrimmage. This allows him to do many things that traditional wide receivers can’t, such as running a variety of routes and running with the ball.
He’s also important for blocking, especially in the initial phase of a run play. A slot receiver’s position and alignment often dictate the type of defender he’ll need to block. He may need to block nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and even safeties. He also needs to perform a “crack back” block on defensive ends, which helps seal off the outside and prevent running plays from getting past him.
His catching ability is also important, and it’s usually more advanced than that of an outside receiver. He has to be able to catch the ball quickly and consistently, as well as have good hands.
Their speed is a critical factor, too, as it allows them to break past the secondary when running a go route. The speed also helps them to escape tackles in the air, if they need to do so.
They can make the big play in a game, and they can be a very tough matchup for defenders. In recent years, many teams have relied more on slot receivers in the NFL. Some of the most notable slot receivers include Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, Keenan Allen, and Tyler Lockett.
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