Rashawn Slater Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Extremely fast for an offensive lineman
Versatile; can play inside or on the edge
Gets depth in his drop to neutralize speed rushers
Can play the typewriter to cut off the corner
Natural knee bender
Sustains blocks well
Tremendous blocker at the second level
Fires out of his stance
Skilled to hit combo blocks
Walls off and ties up defenders in the ground game
Very fast to the second level
Lots of experience against good competition
Amazing fit in a zone-blocking system
Not overly strong
Has issues with length
Has issues with strength
Not a bull dozer in the ground game
Struggles to knock defenders off the ball
Lacks heavy hands
Summary: Prior to sitting out the 2020 season, Slater was a 3-year starter and mainstay on the Northwestern offensive line. As an underclassman, Slater was the right tackle for the Wildcats. He then moved over to left tackle as a junior. Slater did not allow a single sack in 2019 while protecting the blind side and finished his career with 37 straight starts.
Slater's calling card is that he is a phenomenal athlete for an offensive lineman. He is a smooth mover who possesses shocking speed for a blocker. Slater is very fast to the next level, firing out of his stance with a burst to explode to the second level. Utilizing his quick feet and agility, Slater is able to stay square on speed rushers and neutralize them running around the edge. His athleticism lets him be a natural knee bender who does not have to reach after edge rushers because his feet and flexibility get him in proper position. In pass blocking, Slater has good hand placement and is able to sustain his blocks with functional strength to tie up defenders.
In the ground game, Slater makes an impact when firing to the second level. He is dynamic in getting to linebackers off the snap along with peeling off defensive linemen and then hitting a linebacker to help open a hole. With his speed, athleticism, and ability to play in space, Slater is a great fit for a zone-blocking scheme. While he has some functional strength, Slater is limited and is not a true bull who can overpower defenders at the line of scrimmage. He fights, but he is not a people mover to drive defenders backward off the ball.
Slater can have problems with length and strength on the edge, with long defenders able to keep him at a distance, which allows them to use space to run free. His smaller build means strong defenders can get him rolling backward somewhat with bull rushes, and at times in the ground game, they stand him up without issue.
Given Slater's limitations, his best fir in the NFL would come playing guard or center. A team could look to get away with him at left tackle, like the Steelers did with Kelvin Beachum, but to maximize his strengths and hide his shortcomings, playing on the inside would be best. In this analyst's opinion, I think Slater would be an excellent center in the NFL and could be one of the better players at the position.
Player Comparison: Kelvin Beachum/Rodney Hudson. If Slater were to stay at offensive tackle, he could compare to Beachum or the Patriots' Isaiah Wynn. Those three all the same size and have limitations for blocking on the edge in the NFL. If Slater is moved to the inside, I think he could be a center comparable to Hudson, who was an excellent athlete with quickness and agility. Slater could be a similar center to Hudson in the NFL.