In the slot you have more mismatches, get matched up on linebackers and safeties and stuff like that. So I like playing in the slot, but I’ll play anywhere they want me to play.
-Leonard Hankerson, as reported by ESPN NFC East Blog
So what type of slot receiver would Hankerson be? Take a look at the Pro Football Focus’ Shaping the Slot. He’s 6’2”, 209. That’s tall enough to play the “Tall Intermediate/Deep Threat,” and, running a 4.43 40yd dash, he’s fast enough. But could he be the “Strong, Possession Guy” that Brandon Marshall played in Shanahan’s offense?
“The value of a WR1 has been relatively consistent over this time frame. I think most of the ups and downs are probably due to sample size issues rather than changes in league philosophy. However, I’d argue that we may be in a period where the value of a “true” WR1 who can dominate on the outside is declining; three good wide receivers are probably more valuable than the Larry Fitzgerald model the Cardinals have been trotting out the last two years. Arizona, in fact, decided to rectify the situation by drafting Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd in the first round of April’s draft. Consider that two of the three leading receivers in the NFL last season, Victor Cruz and Wes Welker, gained the lion’s share of their production come while lined up in the slot.”
From Football Perspective
It has been said before that the Garcon/Morgan signings were taking this sort of tack. Will be interesting to see what this distribution will be for the Redskins this year.