When you add up special teams offense and defense there are a ton of different positions in the game of football. This can get confusing for football fans especially when there are variations of a single position such as slot corners and outside corners.
Outside cornerbacks line up near the sideline matching up with the opposing team’s wide receivers. Slot corners line up in between the outside receiver and the formation covering the opposing team’s slot receiver.
Typically slot corners tend to be a bit shorter than outside corners yet often carry more weight in order to make tackles. This position is often more involved in the run due to their closer proximity to the opposing team’s running back.
When it comes to passing defense both slot and outside cornerbacks play a large role. Outside cornerbacks are going to line up outside against the opposing team’s wide receivers.
Wide receivers tend to be the best pass catchers on a football team meaning that an outside cornerback needs to excel in pass coverage. Outside cornerbacks lining up near the sideline gives them an advantage in coverage.
Since the wide receiver cannot run out of bounds the outside cornerback can use the sideline to his advantage as he knows the receiver cannot run in that direction.
Slot cornerbacks line up in the slot close to the middle of the field. This position is going to line up against their opponent’s slot receivers. Slot receivers are some of the quickest shiftiest players in football.
These players excel at creating separation but tend to primarily run short and intermediate routes. Since the slot cornerback lines up in the open field he will not have the advantage of the sideline.
Slot corners have to be ready to defend routes that may cut in either direction. Additionally, these players are sometimes tasked with covering tight ends which is a tough assignment for slot corners as they are usually much smaller in stature.
When it comes to rushing defense the slot cornerback is going to play a larger role than the outside cornerback.
Since the slot corner lines up closer to the formation he is going to be much more involved in the action. If a run comes their direction slot corners will be expected to make the tackle.
And if the running back is held up in the backfield the slot cornerback may have a chance to get there for a tackle.
Outside cornerbacks on the other hand are rarely involved in the run game. Since these players line up so far from the formation they are often not close enough to make a tackle.
When a run comes towards the sideline outside cornerbacks will have to fight off blocks from the wide receiver in order to make a tackle.
Since slot corners are closer to the action these players are often valued more for their ability to tackle than an outside corner would be.
When it comes to their build outside cornerbacks and slot corners are relatively similar. Both positions are going to be the smallest players on the defense.
Since these cornerbacks need to keep up with receivers they need to stay light. Wide receivers are one of the smallest players on the offense which allows them to be incredibly quick and agile.
Slot corners tend to be a bit shorter on average due to the fact the players they cover are usually shorter. Wide receivers tend to be taller than slot receivers meaning that outside corners need to match that height in order to break up passes.
Additionally, slot cornerbacks tend to be a little bit thicker than most outside corners. Since slot corners are expected to make tackles more often they need to have a little more weight to them.
This makes it much easier for them to bring down their opponents.