Over the next several weeks, Chargers.com will take a closer look at some of the top prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft following their pro days.
At 6-foot-4, 304 pounds, Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater is considered one of the top offensive linemen in this year's draft. Ask the man himself, and you'll get a more definitive answer.
"I think I'm the best tackle in the draft," Slater said Tuesday after Northwestern's pro day. "And so, I have a really high level of confidence about that. But at the same time I'm a team player, so if a team wants to play me at guard, so be it. I'm all for it as long as that's what's best for the team. I'm happy to play whatever position they need me at."
When asked what NFL teams would be getting if they selected Slater, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said, "great teammate, relentless worker, incredibly high football IQ, and a guy that's going to come in ready to compete right away to start."
While Slater may have opted out of his senior season in Evanston, there is plenty of tape for clubs to evaluate. His signature performance may have come in 2019 against Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, the 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
"You look at my career at Northwestern: 37 starts, started as a true freshman and have just gotten better every single year," Slater said. "And so, obviously it's more than just that game."
Slater, whose father Reggie played eight years in the NBA, is in line to become the highest-drafted player from Northwestern since offensive tackle Chris Hinton was selected No. 4 overall to the Denver Broncos in 1983. Hinton was later traded to the Baltimore Colts in a package that brought quarterback John Elway to Denver.
NFL Network Analyst Daniel Jeremiah says: "You go back and watch him at Northwestern against Chase Young in 2019 and he more than held his own. His ability to recover and rework his hands in that game was really good. He can bend. He's one of the better guys. And even comparing him to the group last year, if you look at just the ability to climb up to the second level in the run game and what he can do with his athleticism, I'd say he does that better than even the tackles in last year's draft. But he would be my top one this year."
*Jeremiah conducted his annual conference call to preview the 2021 NFL Draft on Tuesday, March 9.
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