Slot Receiver

Slot Receiver

The slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up pre-snap between the last man on the line of scrimmage (either a tight end or an offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. This area of the field is called the slot, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “slotbacks.”

The Slot Receiver’s Role

Generally, slot receivers are drafted and signed as wide receivers. They typically play a variety of different positions, but their primary role is to provide the offense with a versatile receiver who can stretch out the field and make big plays. They also have a role in the blocking game, giving them a unique skill set that sets them apart from other wideouts.

Route Running

Slot receivers run many of the same routes as outside wideouts, but they also have to learn some new ones because they’re lining up in the slot. They must be able to run in- and out-field routes, including short and deep passes, so that they can get open on passing plays. They must also have good chemistry with the quarterback.

They need to be able to read the defense and know what defenders are on the other side of the field. This helps them make better route decisions, which leads to more success on the football field.

Speed and Hands

The slot receiver needs to be quick, and they need great hands to absorb a lot of contact. They should also have good awareness of the field so they can run routes that correspond with the other receivers on the team.


Slot receivers are an important part of the blocking game, more so than their outside counterparts. They’re often the first receiver to line up on a play, and they have to be aware of where the nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and safeties are positioned on the defensive line. This helps them prevent defenders from being able to get a clean route on the ball carrier.

Their role is vital on passing plays, since they need to help the quarterback find his target and run the ball downfield. They can also be used to catch the ball when the quarterback fakes a handoff or pitch.

They’re also a key player on running plays, especially sweeps and slant runs. They’re a great option for teams that don’t have a fullback or extra tight end on the play, and they can be used to seal off the inside corner.

A slot receiver can be a key member of the offense, and they’re starting to take over the full-back position more and more in the modern game. This is due to the fact that teams are using less power football and relying on a more traditional spread offense.

In recent seasons, this position has been targeted on 40 percent of all pass attempts. This is a significant increase from the 20 percent of all passing attempts that were targeted to slot receivers in the 2000s and 1990s.