It’s always a tough task for rookie offensive lineman to earn their rightful respect when those who play the many “skill” positions always get more attention and time in the spotlight. Of course, for many, a highlight reel touchdown catch by a rookie wideout or a massive run by a first-year running back is much more exhilarating to watch.
But I’m here to tell you that just because it’s more exciting, doesn’t make it any more impressive.
In fact, Ja’Marr Chase catching a touchdown over a cornerback you’ve never heard of is arguably much less impressive than Rashawn Slater stoning one of Myles Garrett’s spin moves.
With that in mind, I’m tipping my cap to Josh Edwards of CBS Sports. In the latest edition of his rookie power rankings, Edwards moved Slater up six whole spots from number nine to number three. He’s behind only the aforementioned Chase and the Browns’ Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
“Myles Garrett had Justin Herbert at arm’s length three or four times, but it resulted in just one sack on a spin move that Slater had stoned earlier in the game,” said Edwards. “Brandon Staley took some of the heat off the rookie by sideswiping Garrett with a running back or muddying the waters with one or two tight ends on that side. Slater held his own when on an island though. He rises to No. 3 from the No. 9 spot last week.”
The crazy thing is, Edwards believes those chips by the running back helped him and he still moved Slater up six spots. If Slater didn’t allow the sack which stemmed directly from Austin Ekeler’s chip, would he have been raised any higher? Possibly. But at the same time, I’m going to continue applauding Edwards for his rightful appreciation of Slater’s awesome performance against the NFL’s leader in sacks.
Amazing throw and catch by Herbert and Allen— C͛H͛A͛R͛G͛E͛R͛S͛⚡️T͛A͛L͛K͛ (@ChargersTalkNow) October 11, 2021
but if you look at the top of the O-line you’ll see Rashawn Slater man handling Myles Garrett⚡️ pic.twitter.com/TnN5IZWC8m