Along with cornerback and the occasional edge player, the Chargers have mostly been connected to various offensive tackle prospects, including Stanford’s Walker Little and North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz. Oregon’s Penei Sewell is the crème de la crème of the OT crop this year, but the Bolts would likely need a top-three pick in the draft to come away with Juston Herbert’s former blindside protector.
But here’s another name to keep an eye on this draft season: Northwestern left tackle Rashawn Slater.
CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso had the Bolts selecting Slater with the sixth-overall pick as the second offensive lineman off the board.
“Some are going to view Slater as a guard in the NFL,” says Trapasso. “The Chargers need those. But most important is the left tackle, protecting Justin Herbert on throws down the middle and to his right. Slater can be a fine tackle in the NFL. His 2019 film was more than enough evidence, and technique and balance is more important than sheer size at that position.”
For those who haven’t much about Slater this year, it’s mostly due to him opting out prior to the season beginning for the Wildcats. But one thing you also should know is that he did a bang-up job against 2020 second-overall pick Chase Young when they faced the Buckeyes last year.
Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) August 21, 2020
• Second level climbs/accuracy (+)
• Highly efficient backside angles
• Initial punch/strike violence (+)
• Clean/depth on pass sets
• RT/LT versatility (++)
• Zone scheme fit pic.twitter.com/ZiNIND40uX
Lastly, if you need a bit more to sell yourself on Slater, just take it from Daniel Jeremiah, who has Slater ranked as his top offensive lineman so far, even ahead of Sewell.
Spent the last few weeks studying OL for 2021 NFL Draft. Here’s my top 5 so far—— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 28, 2020
1) Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
2) Penei Sewell (Oregon)
3) Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC)
4) Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech)
5) Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma St)
Slater may be considered undersized at just 6’3, but this is 100% a situation where you nee to watch and trust the tape and don’t lean too heavily into the supposed thresholds for what makes a good NFL tackle. If OT somehow doesn’t work out for him, then he can play any other position along the offensive line. He’s that good.
What do you all think of this potential pick? Would you go elsewhere at six?