The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Rashawn Slater 2021 NFL Draft profile.
Position: Offensive Guard/Center
Size: 6-foot-4, 308 pounds
2019 stats: Honorable Mention All-Big Ten
After the Big Ten announced they would be suspending the season initially, Slater decided to train for the 2021 NFL Draft. He did not think it was safe to play, but he didn’t have too much more to prove with another season of college football anyways.
Slater was a three-star prospect out of high school, following in his father’s steps as an athlete. His father Reggie played in the NBA. Slater chose to go to Northwestern for his college career, which gave him an opportunity to start early in his career. Although he was a guard in high school, Slater started at right tackle as a freshman. He helped Northwestern win 10 games that season, including the Music City Bowl. Slater continued playing well at right tackle and was named Third-Team All-Big Ten by the coaches as a sophomore. The Wildcats won nine games and the Holliday Bowl in 2018. As a junior, he made the move to left tackle and was an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten teams. Northwestern struggled and finished with a 3-9 record.
The 2020 season could’ve helped showcase Slater’s talents even more, but with the Big Ten initially delaying their season, he made a wise decision to go pro. He is currently projected to be a first round pick, but some teams may move him to the interior of the offensive line.
Slater’s mobility and athleticism are apparent as soon as he steps on the field. He is quick at the snap of the ball, which sets him up for success on most plays. Slater is able to keep the edge, as he moves his feet really quickly. His quickness allows him to pull, make blocks on the second level and recover well if he needs to.
He is a great pass blocker, which makes him a very valuable prospect. Slater uses his athleticism and mobility to stay in front of pass rushers. He only allowed five sacks in his time at Northwestern and had a great performance against Chase Young in 2019. If he does give up the edge, he has the movement to recover.
His versatility is a great strength. Playing guard in high school will be an asset for Slater, as he may play that again in the NFL. He has the versatility to play both tackle spots as well. With his athleticism and football IQ he is a candidate to play anywhere on the offensive line. This versatility will allow a lot of teams to consider drafting him to shore up holes on their offensive line.
His size and length are not ideal to play tackle at the NFL level. He is listed at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, but will likely measure smaller at the NFL Combine. Slater’s movement skills helped cover up for his lack of size and length, but the NFL will not be so kind to him. This is the main reason that many surmise that he will be moved inside.
He plays hard and fast, which generates power, but he needs to add strength to add even more power. If he is moved inside, he will be dealing with some big bodies and will need to be even stronger to help move them. Slater also struggled going against powerful pass rushers on the outside, so he’ll need to learn to deal with power rushers on the interior if he is moved.
At times, his pad level can get too high and he loses leverage. He is already a little tight, so when he stands up straight, he loses a lot of power. If he keeps his pad level low, he will be able to be a better overall lineman at whatever position he plays at the next level.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick
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