Remember the 2011 NFC Championship game against the Giants? Remember Victor Cruz bending Carlos Rogers over in the 1st half? This is one example of how effective a slot WR can be. He's the "safety valve" and can become a QB's best friend when the pocket collapses.
For me, it's all about being balanced with legitimate threats at every skill position. I used to hate seeing Kyle Williams trot out onto the field because I knew he had no chance of getting the ball. If you've noticed, Kaep goes to his playmakers and we need one in the slot.
I believe the 49ers drafted LaMichael James with hopes that he developed into a "Darren Sproles type" of player. Like Sproles, James would not have been a true slot WR, but a RB who could catch the ball out of the backfield. So far, James has been a disappointment as he hardly sees the field on offense.
Patton has shown promise, but I'm not convinced he can operate effectively as a slot WR.
Slot's are usually small, which works to their advantage. Smaller players are quicker in small spaces. Which players do you think can become successful slot WR's in the NFL? Cooks? Beckham? Ellington? Please chime in.
[ Edited by doc_brown_ on Mar 12, 2014 at 6:10 PM ]