Slot receivers are smaller, quicker, and nimble receivers who line up inside a boundary cornerback. Their sheer speed can stretch a defense vertically, making them difficult to cover. Here are some things to know about slot receivers. You may be surprised to learn that they’re as versatile as other receivers.
Slot receivers are smaller, quicker, and more nimble
Slot receivers line up slightly inside the backfield and a few steps off the line of scrimmage, which gives them more flexibility and space to run routes. They are usually smaller than other wide receivers, but still have excellent route-running skills. They often have to outrun defenders, so they need to have excellent hands and good speed.
Because they are smaller, slot receivers are more nimble and faster than other receivers. The slot receiver position is more common in modern offenses, where slot receivers are used in a three-receiver set and work hand-in-hand with a nickelback on defense.
They are lined up inside of a boundary cornerback
The Slots are lined up inside of a cornerback, and they are typically on the shorter side of the field. This position is rarely as important as the other corners, particularly in the NFL. NCAA hash marks are wider and closer together than NFL ones (40 yards). Boundary corners play in an area 60 percent larger than field side cornerbacks, and they are considered a more difficult position to defend than their field-side counterparts. This is because they are left on an island with little or no help in the run-pass game.
A Slot is lined up inside of a boundary cornerback and plays press coverage and off-man coverage. In many situations, an offense can utilize the speed of a Slot receiver in the slot to make a big play.
They can stretch the defense vertically off pure speed
Slot receivers are a versatile type of wide receiver, able to stretch defenses in two ways: they can overload coverage and elude defenders. Their speed and route running skills make them effective against any coverage scheme. They are the most versatile type of receivers.
Slots can stretch the defense vertically by running post routes on isolated cornerbacks. They can also sit in a void behind LBs on an intermediate level. In this way, a safety must drop back to cover the WR. They can also covert depending on the coverage.
They can be difficult for defenses to cover
Slot receivers are difficult for defenses to cover, especially in formations that utilize multiple receivers on the same side of the field. Teams may have to add defensive backs or switch formations to stop the slot, but it’s hard to ignore the potential of big plays. It can also create mismatches downfield and be confusing for defenses.
Slot receivers make it difficult for defenses to cover them because they have multiple routes they can use to attack the safety. In many cases, slot receivers are the only receiver the QB will see that will have a favorable route against a secondary with multiple DBs playing off coverage.