Heading into the 2021 NFL draft, the Raiders need to find a starter at right tackle. That shouldn’t be all that hard given the talent and depth of this class. But which player would be the best fit with Las Vegas? That might depend on who you ask.
In a recent article by Seth Galina of Pro Football Focus, he broke down the ideal selections for the Raiders at No. 17. Not surprisingly, Rashawn Slater of Northwestern finished at No. 1. Here is what he had to say about the offensive tackle prospect heading into the draft:
Slater has been starting for Northwestern ever since he stepped on campus in 2017. He was one of the highest-graded true freshmen in the country at right tackle that season, posting a 75.0 overall mark. He finally switched to left tackle as a junior in 2019 and allowed just five total pressures — and no sacks — across 355 pass-blocking snaps.
Slater doesn’t have elite height or length, but he is a dominating player. He not only held his own against Chase Young in 2019, but it was also a mismatch in Slater’s favor. He has the ability to play both tackle spots and has All-Pro upside at guard.
If the Raiders deem him to be a better player at guard, they could easily slide him to the left side and kick Denzeele Good over to right tackle. Slater is also versatile enough to play center in the NFL, which makes him all the more valuable.
If Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden are lucky enough to have Slater fall to them at No. 17, it’s hard to imagine a better pick. He’s clearly the second-best offensive lineman in the class with elite athleticism and position flexibility. Expect Slater to be selected high in this month’s draft.