Jarvis Landry not ranked among the top 11 slot receivers in NFL

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When Jarvis Landry was traded to the Cleveland Browns, his arrival sparked excitement. Despite only missing one game (due to COVID-19 close contact protocols last year) in his entire career, Landry is often underappreciated.

His large contract plays a role in that underappreciation as well.

In Cleveland, Landry has been a leader on and off the field with his passion, energy and route running. During his three seasons with the team, Landry has caught 236 passes for almost 3,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has also had two rushing touchdowns and one passing.

His consistency and availability have high value but his play on the field has often lacked the big plays to satisfy those who have concerns about his big contract.

The lack of big plays and the continued evolution of the slot receiver position, where more players are playing inside and outside now, kept Landry off the list of the top 11 slot receivers in the NFL.

Doug Farrar, the article’s author, noted the number of different players that take snaps from the slot in today’s modern NFL:

They can be smaller receivers, bigger receivers, tight ends, and running backs. Sometimes, they’re actually outside receivers in reduced splits after the actual outside receiver motions to the other side of the field pre-snap.

The modern slot receiver is a full-on starter with his own required skill sets, and here are the 11 best slot receivers in the NFL today.

The list includes many guys who play inside and out but Farrar does a good job of highlighting why they made the list solely for their abilities out of the slot. CeeDee Lamb, for example, came in at the tenth spot after catching the most passes of 20 or more air yards out of the slot.

The list does have some pure slot guys like Cole Beasley but is also filled with very versatile guys including Tyreek Hill who tops the list.

For his part, according to Pro Football Focus, Landry took 418 of his 815 snaps out of the slot position last year.

With Kevin Stefanski’s offense valuing two tight ends, Landry was often aligned with a tight end, or running back, outside of him when he was in the slot. Even when Odell Beckham Jr. went down with an injury, Landry’s ratio of snaps in the slot stayed mostly consistent with his numbers with Beckham.

For the Browns, if Landry can continue to contribute to their team’s success, where he winds up on these lists is inconsequential. However, with his high salary and the hype around him, Landry will continue to be a lightning rod of opinions and analysis.