During the early days of football, a slot receiver was considered the third best receiver on the team. Unlike an outside receiver, a slot receiver is usually smaller and has more flexibility. He can run routes, catch passes, or block on running plays.
Today, the slot receiver position is becoming more common on both sides of the ball. Some teams use slot receivers to run shorter routes on their route tree. Others use them for quick outs or inward movements. This allows for the quarterback to get a read on the defense.
The slot receiver is also a very effective catch and run player. They have to know every passing route and be able to run it effectively. They will have to be fast and strong to be able to make the catch. They can also stretch the defense vertically, like players like Tyreek Hill or Branden Cooks.
Slot receivers are more agile than outside receivers, and are usually faster than outside wide receivers. They can run slants, go inward, and run straight downfield. They have to have great hands and be able to catch a pass.
Slot receivers work hand in hand with a nickelback on the defensive side of the ball. They are often used in a three-receiver offensive set. They may be used in the slot, or on the sideline.
Slot receivers often run pre-snap motions to give the quarterback a read on the defense. This gives them extra room to make the catch.