🖐 Slot vs Wide: Wide Receivers | Football Outsiders

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The best slot receivers available in the NFL Draft. In a loaded wide receiver class, there is no shortage of good slot options. Who are the.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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Some of the NFL's best receivers run a stunning majority of their routes from a slot alignment. The era that pushed every team's best receiver to.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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I think it's a bit premature to start looking for the best slot receiver of all time if only because the slot receiver is something of a newer prominent "position" in the.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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I think it's a bit premature to start looking for the best slot receiver of all time if only because the slot receiver is something of a newer prominent "position" in the.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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The slot receiver position is more highly prized than at any time in NFL history. Here are the 11 best in the game.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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This is the third year we've looked at these splits, and the league DVOA on slot passes has been a bit better than the league DVOA on wide.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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This is the third year we've looked at these splits, and the league DVOA on slot passes has been a bit better than the league DVOA on wide.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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The slot receiver position is more highly prized than at any time in NFL history. Here are the 11 best in the game.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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The best slot receivers available in the NFL Draft. In a loaded wide receiver class, there is no shortage of good slot options. Who are the.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

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Some of the NFL's best receivers run a stunning majority of their routes from a slot alignment. The era that pushed every team's best receiver to.


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best slot receivers in the nfl

There are still the Wes Welker types who pick up a high volume of catches underneath linebackers, but there are more speed receivers who run deep seam routes and posts. The role is crucial to NFL offenses as the game becomes both more diversified in formations and play-calling, and more matchup-based, where quarterbacks scan the field looking for ideal mismatches rather than predetermined sets of reads. How well does this receiver adjust his hands to quickly thrown passes in traffic? He is a wonderful blocker and can occasionally win on a fade route, but he doesn't offer much else as a receiver. He's a big-bodied receiver who thrives in inside-breaking routes where he can shield defenders and catch away from his body. As expected, Braxton Miller is still developing as a route-runner, but Houston is helping him with simple routes from the slot while DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller grab the attention from defenses. Fowler needs to be more decisive in his route running and more aggressive at the catch point if he's to be anything more than a third or fourth option for whoever's playing quarterback for the Broncos in and beyond. Because of his stature 5'8", pounds , his catch radius is small, so he can't afford to drop as many passes as he did in his rookie season. This signing hasn't been successful despite Baltimore desperately needing help at receiver. Jeremy Maclin often looks disinterested through stretches of the game. Does he place his hands away from his body and bring the ball in, turning quickly to run? Can he help pass-block in empty sets, or does he tend to disappear if he's not a target? Cooper will be stuck behind Kupp for the foreseeable future, and most of his snaps will continue to come as a returner for the Rams. Michael Campanaro has Limited size and speed, but some quickness and elusiveness after the catch and as a punt returner. He probably shouldn't be on an NFL roster. Our slot receiver rankings are for those who played at least 10 percent of their teams' overall snaps, and at least 50 percent of their overall snaps in the slot. He leans and gives away his routes very early, and defenders often run his routes for him. On the second, he maintained his angle and leverage on a drag route in the red zone, once again beating coverage with good route awareness. He is incredibly stiff in his routes and rarely creates any separation. He's coming along, but needs time. Humphries is a replacement-level slot receiver, at best. There are running backs who either line up in the slot in empty-backfield formations, or flare to the slot from the backfield. Every catch is contested and his route tree is limited due to his lack of quickness. Brandon Coleman is the tallest slot receiver in the league at 6'6"; however, he doesn't often use that size to his advantage. But he's able to win with size 6'2" and good route running. He is a small and extremely quick, and he does his best work within eight yards of the line of scrimmage. Higgins deserved more opportunities to succeed in the slot in —he's a quick, lanky player with the instincts to find himself open in the middle of the field. Bennie Fowler should be a beneficiary of all the attention given to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. And that's why, in this season's installation of the NFL player rankings, we decided that both slot receivers and slot defenders deserved their own rankings. Jeremy Maclin , Baltimore Ravens. Tyrell Williams looks slow, but he has build-up speed and is able to get deep due to his size and ball skills. Limited in speed and athleticism, LaFell can't win on every route from every point on the field. He doesn't do any one thing well and was one of the worst receivers in the league considering how many snaps he played for the Panthers. Coleman should be a mismatch nightmare in the slot with his huge catch radius, but he is too limited as a route-runner at this stage of his career. Entering year two, Tyler Boyd's role seemed to be defined as the starting slot receiver. The Texans put Miller in motion and into the backfield, and they design screens to get him opportunities to run. Benjamin is a dangerous weapon due to his speed and elusiveness.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} The receivers on this list lined up in the slot for at least 50 percent of their routes, per Pro Football Focus' charting. His hands seem fine but his catch radius is limited. When Ellington was the primary target, he struggled to beat man coverage and come through as needed. Wright isn't the most talented receiver in the world, but he is consistent and was the most reliable option in the Bears' passing attack. He just isn't dynamic after the catch nor a threat down the field. Once he catches the ball, how well does this receiver turn and get upfield, moving his way past defenders, especially on short and intermediate routes where he's making catches in traffic? Russell Shepard started the season buried on the team's depth chart. There are bigger receivers moved inside to create mismatches with slot cornerbacks or linebackers. That's why he's better in the slot. He is not dangerous after the catch and he rarely makes plays outside of the framework of his body. He is a solid route-runner who has improved when it comes to catching the ball in tight quarters. How well does he get free of coverage in the red zone and end zone? Baltimore will move him into the slot to get him open, but he hasn't run routes well from that spot and hasn't caught balls in traffic with much consistency. This takes into account positional importance when comparing scores to other spots on the gridiron. The second-year man from Colorado State started just four games in , but he showed up on tape when given the opportunity. He's slippery after the catch due to his size 5'8" and athleticism. Adam Humphries is just an average slot receiver. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}The increased frequency with which NFL teams deploy three- and four-receiver formations with at least one slot receiver is matched only by the responsibilities those slot targets must take on. Wright shouldn't be any more than a No. In the slot specifically, how well does this receiver align with his quarterback and react to defenders on option routes? Seth Roberts isn't schemed open as much as some slot receivers. Route concepts for slot receivers are multifaceted. He is a below-average blocker and defenders can move him off of his spot fairly easily. He routinely gets deep opportunities that most slot receivers don't enjoy. He has small, but strong hands and can be difficult to bring down after the catch. No matter his size, how well does this receiver face up in multi-receiver run plays? A decade ago, slot receivers were specialty players, smaller guys without too much speed who caught three-yard slants and tried to get yards after the catch. His two touchdowns against the Steelers in Week 17 showed his potential. If only he were a better blocker. When Denver's mediocre quarterbacks did throw the ball in Fowler's direction in , he rewarded them with good downfield speed. But there were other instances in which he didn't do enough physically to get and stay open in traffic, leading to incompletions and interceptions. He's fine in zone with solid hands and toughness after the catch. When rookie Cooper Kupp wasn't in the slot or when the Rams were in four-receiver sets, Pharoh Cooper entered the field. He catches well while facing the ball, but tracking deep over-the-shoulder throws is hit-and-miss. He's not the most agile or the quickest, and his ability to run after the catch suffers because of it. And, how well does he use option routes to get that first step away from a defender? Kendall Wright was by far the Bears' most productive receiver in , leading the team in targets, receptions and yards. Can he recover from aggressive coverage to put his hands in a position to win against defenders trying to knock him off his route? He was a surprisingly good blocker this season, and his route running was as good as advertised. But after the trade of Kelvin Benjamin and injuries to Curtis Samuel and others, he became the Panthers' slot receiver. At this point, I have to wonder if his roster spot is still available in Will Boyd regain the starting slot job? He's struggled running the correct route against the right coverage, which has resulted in seemingly inaccurate throws—but which aren't always Joe Flacco's fault. Ellington played the role of return man and slot receiver, though he received little attention while flanked by DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. In two-slot formations out of four-receiver sets, you'll see inside crossers and switch releases—schemes in order to create confusion for defenders who aren't used to dealing with such things inside the numbers. They run many in which they coordinate with the quarterback on the fly based on the response of the defender. They now have diverse individual skill sets. He ended very hot in the last two games. On the first, he took a quick slant from DeShone Kizer and blasted through Pittsburgh's zone defense. NFL scouts Marcus Mosher and Joe Goodberry have been watching the NFL's inside and outside receivers all season, and they're ready to rank and scout these former specialists turned starters based on the following criteria:. As a slot receiver, Miller has athletic ability to be deceptive in his routes, but against zone, he drifts into coverage while searching for the soft voids. Mostly used as a return man, De'Anthony Thomas gets some manufactured touches from the slot at times. He is solid route-runner from the slot but isn't going to win deep or against press coverage. Williams is a solid player for what the Chargers ask of him. Trent Taylor is your typical slot receiver. Brandon LaFell cemented his evaluation in his second year with the Bengals. Cooper is a subpar athlete who has to win with precise route running and too often rounds off his routes. Most are also more than capable of doing damage on the outside, but the slot is where these players live. How well does he create separation on short slants and drag routes, as well as intermediate and deep-seam routes and posts? He's a fine complementary player with lapses on the field that hurt his overall production. Wright operated as an outside receiver for the Bears at times, but most of his production came in the slot. Taylor will always be limited by his size, but he can be an effective player in this league, assuming he can solve his drop issues.