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Rashawn Slater NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Los Angeles Chargers OT

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2021

Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater, participates in the school's Pro Day football workout for NFL scouts Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press


HEIGHT:
 6'4 ¼"

WEIGHT: 304

   

POSITIVES

—Lean, muscular and athletic build with well-rounded dispersion of weight throughout his frame.

—Outstanding body control, contact balance, coordination and footwork to mirror shifty rushers laterally and up the arc, adjust to post-snap movement in the run game and recover from compromising positions.

—Accurate, strong and active use of hands to find the armpit/inside shoulder of defenders, latch and reset to stay leveraged.

—Can set at a 45-degree angle, expand vertical or jump pass-rushers to keep them guessing.

—Transitions smoothly to his anchor using excellent mobility in his lower half to flex and extend his hips against power, strain and absorb the bull rush.

—Takes efficient angles in space with plenty of juice to cut off the backside and track down smaller targets.

—Quick processor who diagnoses line games, stunts and blitzes the vast majority of the time.


NEGATIVES

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—Below-average power on angle-drive, kickout and down blocks that usually results in a quick stalemate with him stood up on his heels.

—Heavy reliance on initiating contact with his outside hand in pass protection led to the majority of his losses in pass protection; rushers with an advanced cross-chop move or forklift can trap or unlock that hand to create a short corner (ex: 2019 vs. A.J. Epenesa and Zack Baun).

—The long-arm bull rush gave him trouble in pass protection when he wasn't able to initiate first contact (ex: 2019 vs. A.J. Epenesa, 34½ arms), raising a concern about his lack of girth and average length against longer power rushers who win with this technique in the pros.


2020 STATISTICS

—Opted out of the 2020 season.

NOTES

—Thirty-seven career appearances and starts (26 at RT, 11 at LT) to end his career, 30 of them being consecutive.

—Zero false start and five holding penalties in career per Sports Info Solutions

—2019 honorable mention All-Big Ten, allowing zero sacks and six pressures in 11 games.

—2018 third-team All-Big Ten and 2017 Freshman All-Big Ten selection.

—Multiple-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

—Got a new O-line coach in 2019 and switched up his stance from 2018 at RT to 2019 at LT; much more efficient weight distribution that allowed him to play faster.

—Training for the draft with Duke Manyweather at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas.

—Four years of track and field in high school, competing in the discus and shot put.

—Father is former eight-year NBA player Reggie Slater.

—Three-star recruit coming out of Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas.

  

OVERALL

Slater has the athletic ability, quickness, body control and coordination needed to play tackle in the NFL with precise, sticky hands to latch onto rushers, reset and recover from compromising positions. He has adequate power and length that will likely cap his ceiling as a very good rather than elite player, but he has the technique, football intelligence and movement skills necessary to counteract his few blemishes.

Slater is a great fit in a zone-based scheme where he can work laterally, climb and track down smaller targets as a run-blocker. He has the skill set and polish to be an immediate starter at tackle and a potential impact starter inside.

   

GRADE: 8.4/10 (Round 1)

OVERALL RANK: 15/300

POSITION RANKOT3

PRO COMPARISON: Stronger/Polished Andre Dillard

   

Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn