NFL News & Analysis

NFL’s most productive slot receivers: Cooper Kupp, Amon-Ra St. Brown and CeeDee Lamb lead the way

2K1HFNF Arlington, United States. 18th Sep, 2022. Dallas Cowboys CeeDee Lamb fights off Cincinnati Bengals Chidobe Awuzie during their NFL game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, September 18, 2022. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News

  • Cooper Kupp: Although it was cut short due to injury, Kupp's 2.40 yards per route run figure was the second-highest mark of his career. 
  • Amon-Ra St. BrownAmong the talented wideouts on this list, St. Brown had the highest receiving grade with a 90.4.
  • CeeDee LambLamb recorded 972 yards in the slot, which led all receivers in the league.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Today, we are using PFF's premium stats to identify 10 wide receivers who spent over 50% of their time in the slot last season and obtained over 50 targets. Among those 10 wide receivers, here are leaders in yards per route run.

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

Yards per route run: 2.40

Just one year removed from his historic season with the triple crown, where he led the league in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, Kupp built off that with another productive season. Although it was cut short due to injury, Kupp's 2.40 yards per route run figure was the second-highest mark of his career. 

Sean McVay has done a fabulous job of getting his best weapon the football year after year. After leading the league in receiving grade in 2021, Kupp ranked top 10 once again with an 88.1 in 2022. 

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

Yards per route run: 2.40

St. Brown had an incredible breakout season in 2022, staving off the dreaded “sophomore slump.” Among the talented wideouts on this list, St. Brown had the highest receiving grade with a 90.4, which trailed only Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams.

With one of the lowest average depth of target figures in the league (6.7), St. Brown showed that he just needs the ball in his hands, as his 544 yards after catch ranked top 10 in the NFL.


CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

Yards per route run: 2.39

Lamb has easily become Dallas' No. 1 target, and he got it done on the outside in 2021 before returning to more of the slot role last season. He finished both seasons with a top-10 receiving grade, posting 84.8 and 87.0 marks, respectively. 

Lamb recorded 972 yards in the slot, which led all receivers in the league. Kupp, St. Brown and Lamb are a step ahead of everyone else when it comes to creating production from the slot.

Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

Yards per route run: 2.18

Jeudy has been a phenomenal route runner ever since his days playing for Nick Saban at Alabama. He over-emphasizes his moves to create separation, which has become his calling card.

Jeudy started his NFL career in 2020, where he finished with a 64.8 receiving grade, but he has improved every year since, as his highest mark came in 2022 with a 77.9 receiving grade.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Yards per route run: 2.08

Allen had a great season in 2022 despite dealing with some injuries. The 10-year veteran has always leveraged his advanced route running to create separation, and he has proven that his game ages well.

Allen has been exceedingly reliable for Justin Herbert. Last season, he dropped zero passes on 72 receptions. Although Allen has predominately become a slot receivier, his 84.4 receiving grade ranked 12th among all qualifying receivers.

Jakobi Meyers, Las Vegas Raiders

Yards per route run: 1.90

Meyers has been underrated since his time in New England. His grades have screamed consistency — since 2020, Meyers has posted 80.1, 74.6 and 75.8 receiving grades.

Another reliable receiver, Meyers dropped just one pass, which came in Week 2 against Pittsburgh. Now, Meyers gets to reunite with Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas, so his job should get a lot easier running routes from the slot alongside his new teammate, Davante Adams.

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars

Yards per route run: 1.75

Kirk inked an incredible deal last offseason with Jacksonville, and he followed it up with a career year. His 1,238 yards and 10 touchdowns were career highs, as he created a great rapport with quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

In his last two seasons, Kirk operated from the slot on over 75% of his snaps. It is no coincidence that he posted his two highest receiving grades — 72.7 and 75.3, respectively.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yards per route run: 1.73

Godwin has been one of the best in the league from the slot since he made the switch to the role in 2019 — his first season managing the slot role, which led him to a breakout season with a career-high 90.7 PFF grade.

Since 2019, Godwin has had 100-plus targets and over 1,000 yards in each season. Last season, he lived in the slot, as 73% of his snaps came from that alignment. Godwin, alongside his teammate Mike Evans, has been a great weapon for Tom Brady. They now hope they can make a smooth transition without him at the helm.

Richie James Jr., Kansas City Chiefs

Yards per route run: 1.61

James made a home in the slot and produced well for New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll. His 84.6 slot percentage trailed only Tyler Boyd. James now gets to catch passes from Patrick Mahomes after signing a deal with the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

James recorded a career-high 72.7 PFF grade and was a reliable target with only three drops. If Kadarius Toney can transition to the outside, it could open up an opportunity for James in Kansas City.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

Yards per route run: 1.58

Mooney finally transitioned to the slot, but it was cut short due to a season-ending ankle injury in Week 12. In 2021, Mooney had his first 1,000-yard season for the Bears and earned a career-high 74.9 receiving grade doing so.

Mooney now gets to return with something to prove and a more favorable situation around him. He will be able to man the slot role with the D.J. Moore addition, and these two will help Justin Fields take that next step as a passer. Watch out for the Moore-Mooney duo in 2023.


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