NEXT ON OUR SCOUTING REPORTS IS RASHAWN SLATER. CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR OTHER SCOUTING REPORTS BELOW.
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 305 Lbs
- College: Northwestern
- Year: Senior
- Position: Offensive Line
Rashawn Slater is an underrated lineman in a deep offensive line class. He has the ability to be a foundational piece on any team’s offensive line.
Slater chose to forgo his senior year at Northwestern, to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, after an exceptional 2019 season.
The lineman is from Sugar Land, Texas, where he attended Clements High School. At High School, Slater played guard and was a 3* recruit. Committing to Northwestern he was projected as the 32nd offensive guard by 247sports.
At Northwestern, Slater has proved versatile to the Wildcats. Over the years, Slater would go on to get 26 starts at right tackle before moving over to left tackle for the 2019 season, where he made 11 starts.
Slater has won academic honours every year he has been at Northwestern and has shown fantastic work ethic. He is smart and is always looking for ways to get better.
His versatility has made him an interesting evaluation. Teams will be considering where to utilise him as he has been so productive across all offensive line positions.
Slater has been projected to move inside throughout the summer; but it may not be that simple. He is utterly underrated at the tackle position and he could forge a great career protecting the edge. Teams will be reassured that they can move him inside without any bother at all.
Rashawn Slater is a clever, powerful, but shifty lineman who has great lateral mobility. He is an animal in every phase and has the ability to be dominant as a pro.
Take a look at the video below which shows why Slater is a unique prospect. Snappy, smart and strong. Look out for the left tackle #70.
- Lateral Mobility
- Balance and Power
When it comes to Slater the key word is versatility. You don’t see prospects who can play anywhere across the line the way Slater can.
What makes Slater stand out is his mobility and speed. He possesses great movement and has a wealth of athleticism. He is a fluid athlete who can climb up to the second level. Slater erupts off the line where he has the velocity, agility and speed to eradicate whatever move a defender brings.
It is his lateral mobility and flexibility, blended with his strength and power that provides great tape. The tape we will keep referring to is his Ohio State tape from 2019, which saw him match up against Chase Young. He only gave up 2 quarterback pressures to Young, who was seen as the best player in the 2020 draft!
Slater has the technique to have a long, successful career in the NFL. He has clean hand placement which nullifies defenders and it means his game rises to the next level as a run blocker.
He has ideal strength and he is punchy on running plays. Slater can force defenders out of gaps and running lanes with his devouring hands and is aggressive enough to finish his plays.
Besides Slater being savage in the run game, he has also put together some excellent pass protection too. Slater possesses good balance, making him hard to shift when he has dropped back. If he does struggle initially he has a good counter and recovery. He can create enough leverage to use his balance and strength to win out.
When Slater’s game is pieced together he has the athleticism, strength and power to dominate. Similarly, he has the speed and smartness to blossom at the next level.
- Arm Length
- Establish his Anchor
Unfortunately, questions are going to get raised about Slater’s size. Especially his arm length. That’s why you will see some projecting him in the interior at the next level.
Slater will get his opportunity to answer the questions surrounding his arm length, but there are thresholds for a reason and he will likely won’t meet them.
Yes, he doesn’t have the prototypical size for a starting left tackle, but he has flourished there against good opposition for Northwestern. He has all the tools to negate any severe worries.
If teams did want to move Slater inside he could absolutely be a solid guard for years to come. Some will see his skills are more transferable to the inside where he cannot get caught out.
Slater can get caught out against bull rushes from the edge on occasion. He can be stiff to change direction and can struggle when trying to bend and prevent the oncoming rusher. Consequently, Slater can also give up to much leverage at times as he doesn’t get deep enough on his pass sets to establish his anchor and survive the bull rush.
He was able to get away with some of it on some plays especially against smaller college opposition, but he may get exposed against bigger, better and more experienced NFL pros.
Wherever Slater lines up at the next level he will be more than efficient. He has skills that others in this class don’t have and, ultimately, that NFL players don’t have. Quickness, mobility and power. He will thrive where others come into difficulty.
As stated he has the ability to be a good tackle at the next level, but he also has the potential to be an elite guard. The fact he can be both is extremely valuable. It’s a matter for the team that drafts him to decide where they value him most.
Above all, even with the fact Slater opted out, he is at the top of this draft class and he will be given opportunities especially at the combine, to secure his seeding.
There is always a market for good left tackles, where Slater has proven to be one of the best at the college level. If reports are correct and he has taken advice to move to the interior, he projects as a potentially elite prospect.
Either way he is a day 1 starter in the NFL.
Draft Projection: Round 1
How good of a prospect is Rashawn Slater? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards and @Owain_Jones_
Feature Image Credit: Northwestern University Athletics
Video credit: Big Ten Network
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