A slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up on one side of the field, or between the offensive line and the defensive line. These receivers can block defenders, or they can make a quick out to prevent a sack of the quarterback.
Slot receivers are becoming more common in the NFL. They can create mismatches downfield by running slants and short routes on a route tree. This is a great option if a team wants to establish no man’s land in the offensive zone, and it can be particularly effective in the catch and run game.
A slot receiver can also block the defender, or they can pick up the defender breaking through the line of scrimmage. Defenses may need to switch formations to protect against these types of receivers, or they may need to add defensive backs.
Slot receivers are most commonly used in ball receiver formations, but they can also play in a variety of situations. For example, in a catch and run game, a slot receiver can catch up to a defensive lineman who breaks through the line of scrimmage and create a mismatch.
While slot receivers can be a great asset to a team, their responsibilities can sometimes be confusing. A team can have as many as three slot receivers on the field at any given time. Some defenses can become confused by this situation, so they’ll need to keep track of which receivers are on the field.