Northwestern Wildcats offensive tackle Rashawn Slater is opting out of the 2020 college football season and declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft, he told Yahoo Sports on Thursday. The 6-foot-4, 308-pounder will forgo his senior season.
“I didn’t think a winter or spring season allows for optimal recovery or training to have a great rookie year,” Slater told Yahoo Sports. “I talked about it with everyone. Everyone at Northwestern has been extremely supportive. They’ve had open and honest conversations with me. I can tell they wanted the best for me.”
Here's what our scout Kyle Crabbs had to say about Slater:
"Rashawn Slater will check plenty of boxes for NFL teams looking to boost their offensive line. He isn't the most spectacular athlete but many sturdy offensive linemen aren't. Slater wins with toughness, power, and potent hands. He's started 37 games between right and left tackle over the last three years for the Wildcats and his starring film was an admirable showing against Chase Young last season. Slater gave me the same vibe as Louisiana's Robert Hunt, who ended up sneaking into the top-40 overall in 2020. That's his ceiling for next April in my eyes."
Earlier this month, notable names like Miami Hurricanes EDGE Greg Rousseau, Penn State Linebacker Micah Parsons, Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman, Purdue WR Rondale Moore and Pitt Panthers defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman opted out of the 2020 season. On Tuesday, Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield declared for the 2021 NFL Draft in the wake of the Big Ten postponing its season. On Wednesday, Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Sage Surratt opted out and USC defensive lineman Jay Tufele also declared for the draft.
Slater recently came in at No. 66 on the TDN Top 100 big board. Here are some excerpts from his scouting report. You can read the full report here.
PROS: Think Robert Hunt—he gave me that same kind of vibe. Slater has impressive lateral mobility in the run game and is effective to cross face and rotate defenders out of gaps with consistency. He pairs that with persistent hands and requisite strength in the run game to uproot interior DL or turn out EDGE defenders and gain gaps for his back.
CONS: He's a little stiff through his hips, which can prevent him from effectively coiling and leveraging through contact to play with optimal functional strength. Chase Young put him on skates with power rushes on a handful of occasions vs. OSU in 2019 and highlighted some leverage inconsistencies that stem from his tightness here.