A slot is a narrow depression, groove, notch, slit or aperture.
In computing, a slot is a connection designed to make it easier to add more processors to the computer. A slot is also an opening on an airplane wing or tail surface that allows a higher-lift control device to be mounted.
A slot receiver is a type of wide receiver who lines up closer to the middle of the field than outside receivers. This position offers them more opportunities to run routes that will confuse defenders on the outside.
Slots are also an important part of the blocking game for offenses, allowing running backs and wide receivers to move forward with greater ease. Because they line up relatively close to the middle of the field, slot receivers are in a great position to seal off blitzes from nickelbacks and outside linebackers.
Their speed and pre-snap motion allow them to quickly pick up the ball, putting them in a prime position to run pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. They’re also called on to carry the ball from time to time.
On passing plays, they’ll often run routes that correspond with the other wide receivers on the field to confuse defenders and give them trouble. They’ll need to be able to get on the same page with their quarterback so they can make sure they’re in the right spot and on the same play at the right time.
Slots are a unique group of receivers who have a specific skill set. They are usually drafted and signed as wide receivers, but they earn the title of slot because of their special abilities to do things that the other wide receivers can’t.