A slot is a specific area on the field that a receiver lines up pre-snap. He typically starts between the tight end and offensive tackle or between a wide receiver and an outside receiver. This position gets its name from this specific area of the field, but it has a lot more going for it than just a location on the field.
Slot receivers can line up in a variety of ways, including running routes to the inside and out as well as crossing and slant routes. Their job is to help stretch out the defense and provide a quarterback with multiple options on passing plays. They also play a huge role on running plays, as they are often responsible for blocking.
It takes a special skill set to be a good slot receiver, as they need to be fast enough to beat the coverage and have reliable hands. They must also have good chemistry with their quarterback to be able to get open for big plays.
Another key trait of a good slot receiver is his awareness of the field and which defenders are around him. They need to be able to read the defensive coverage and know when they need to change directions to avoid getting hit. Finally, slot receivers need to have great block skills, as they are often the lead blocker on running plays like sweeps and slants.