Slot receivers, also known as slot backs, are a type of receiver position used in football. They are similar to a wide receiver, but have a higher level of speed and ability to catch the ball.

Slot receivers can be positioned on the outside or inside of the line of scrimmage. They can line up in the open field to pick up defenders or to block them. Some defenses with slot receivers may need to change formations, or even add additional defensive backs.

Slot receivers are usually smaller than wide receivers, and they can run quick routes, slants, and quick outs. They also have great play-making potential.

Historically, slot receivers were used in pass-heavy offenses. Today, they are a more common position in football. In many situations, they are used in place of fullbacks or tight ends. This is due to their quicker pace and ability to generate mismatches against linebackers.

Slot receivers are also used to protect the quarterback. The quarterback can use them to protect his back and to keep him from being sacked. On the other hand, defenders can use them to stop the quarterback.

Defenses with slot receivers sometimes need to change formations to help them cover the receivers. They can also run short routes through the route tree, and they can go inward or outward.

Slot receivers are often the first receivers to receive a pass. These passes are often very short. A slot receiver can be used as a check-down for the quarterback or as an outlet receiver.