Without a good slot receiver, offenses have a hard time spreading the field and attacking all three levels of the defense. Slot receivers give quarterbacks a versatile option in the passing game and are responsible for catching the ball behind the line of scrimmage, running a multitude of routes and gaining yards deep. They are a necessity in today’s NFL and some of the most successful teams have a top-notch slot receiver to go along with their No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers.
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Slot receivers normally don’t look like your typical wideout and they are usually shorter and stockier, but also tough enough to handle contact. They need to be quick and precise with their route running and have great chemistry with the quarterback in order to succeed.
Route running is a must for slot receivers because they run many different routes and must be precise with their timing. They are also expected to block and to be able to do it well. Without a fullback or tight end to help them, they are required to take on more defensive attention than their counterparts on the outside.
They are not as good at blocking as wideouts, but they are capable of doing it if necessary. Some of them need to fill in for the fullback when the offense runs outside, while others play as the second or third receiver on more complex plays.
They have a unique role in the offensive scheme and they can help create mismatches on the defense by taking advantage of their speed and size. The best slot receivers in the league have a combination of skill and size that makes them hard to defend. Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley and Keenan Allen are all great examples of this. These players are very productive because they can play multiple positions and cover a lot of ground on the field. In addition to their versatility, they are also very fast and can beat defenders in a short amount of space.