A slot is a narrow, elongated depression, groove, notch, slit, or aperture that allows something to be received or admitted. A slot is used in many areas of transportation, including air traffic control coordination and airline scheduling to limit flight operations.
In the context of football, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up in a specific area on the field, usually a little shorter and stockier than an outside wide receiver. These receivers are known for their speed, and they typically have exceptional route-running skills because of their pre-snap motion and ability to stretch the defense.
These receivers are also more advanced at blocking than other receivers, which makes them an important cog in the offensive playbook. They also have to have a good understanding of the entire football field so that they can accurately read defenders’ positions and timing plays.
They are a highly versatile position and can be effective on just about every passing route, from inside and outside to deep and short. They also need to be able to carry the ball from time to time on pitches and reverses.
Slot receivers are an essential part of any offense. They help quarterbacks extend the field and attack all three levels of the defense, and they often see a lot of targets and gain better stats than outside wide receivers on their team.
The slot receiver position is a growing one in the NFL. Players such as Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks are great examples of how this position can be an integral part of a successful offense.