Slater is an athletic offensive tackle prospect who has the potential to start right away
Rashawn Slater may have flown somewhat under the radar at Northwestern, but that won't be the case in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. One of the top offensive tackle prospects in this year's draft, Slater more than held his own a couple of years ago against Chase Young, last year's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, which alone will get teams' attention. Slater's combination of athleticism, technique and competitiveness has him all but locked in as a first-round pick.
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Rashawn Slater Draft Profile
Slater brings a perfect blend of aggressiveness and reliability. He is always balanced and coordinated in his movements. He looks to get his hands into pass rushers early, and he rarely lunges or leans when doing so. His precise handwork and strong core, combined with his nimble feet, allow him to get squared up and stay squared up. His feet are quick but stay low to the ground, allowing him to effectively anchor. His tape against Chase Young in 2019 was as good as anyone had against the former Ohio State All-American, with Slater scoring a clear win in that matchup. He’s an athlete who can get out in front of the screen game and works well in space on outside runs.
Slater is fringy for a tackle in terms of length, which could become a bigger issue for him in the pros than it was in college. He has little trouble dealing with power, but NFL-caliber speed up the arc could be difficult to deal with. Some teams could ultimately look to kick him inside.
The tape shows a tackle prospect with some Joe Thomas in his game, with the ability to start from Day One. His toughness and ability to handle power would work on the inside should a team choose to play him at guard.
Final Grade: 1st round
(Top photo courtesy of nusports.com)