New England Patriots way-too-early four-round 2021 NFL mock draft

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Rashawn Slater, New England Patriots, 2021 NFL mock draft
The New England Patriots select Rashawn Slater in the second round of this 2021 NFL mock draft. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Rashawn Slater. 2. 882. OL. Northwestern. player

Rashawn Slater took over as the starting right tackle for Northwestern as a true freshman in 2017 and has had a successful college career playing both right and left tackle for the team. Slater enters his senior season as one of the premier offensive linemen in the Big Ten and undoubtedly has big-time upside as a 2021 NFL Draft prospect.

Slater falls down the board a bit in this 2021 NFL mock draft and the New England Patriots happily scoop him up. The offensive line stands out as a massive potential need for this team going forward and Slater is a guy who makes sense for them in a variety of ways.

His power immediately stands out on tape. Slater is not only powerful at the point of attack, he does a great job of maintaining his strength throughout the play. This guy has extremely strong hands and tremendous grip strength. Once he gets his hands on the defender, it is typically game over.

Slater is not the most fluid athlete on the offensive line, but he is relatively quick off of the ball and can make blocks at the second level. Slater is better when he is allowed to consistently play forward and work as the aggressor. He does struggle at times when taking deep pass sets and waiting for the pass rusher to come to him.

Slater may be best suited as an interior player at the next level. That being said, I think he has the quickness to handle offensive tackle duties. As long as his NFL team allows him to continue to play aggressive in the run game and as a pass protector, I see Slater having a long and successful career no matter where he plays on the offensive line.