2021 NFL Draft rankings: Penei Sewell leads strong offensive tackle group

2021 NFL Draft prospect Penei Sewell #58 of the Oregon Ducks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Penei Sewell #58 of the Oregon Ducks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Rashawn Slater, 2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft prospect Rashawn Slater #70 of the Northwestern Wildcats (Photo by Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports) /

2. Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
6-foot-3, 305 pounds
2021 NFL Draft grade: First round

The best performance from an offensive lineman during the 2019 season might have been Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater against Ohio State’s Chase Young. That was not the only great game Slater had that year either, as he did not allow a single sack and only one pressure the entire season.

What makes Slater such a promising prospect is a combination of outstanding football IQ, quickness and versatility. As a prospect, Slater is one of the smartest players in the 2021 NFL Draft, evident by his fundamental play and excellent hand use. He shows nice quickness, as well as the mobility to block downfield and fire out of his stance in an instant. One more positive with Slater is his versatility as he has played both right and left tackle in college.

The concern teams might have with Slater is that he is on the shorter side coming in at only 6-foot-3. This could cause some teams to move him inside to guard which would hurt his draft value. One other concern is he has only average power, but he definitely has enough in this area to play at a high level in the NFL.

The team that drafts Slater in the 2021 NFL Draft will be getting a player who can start from day one. It is yet to be determined if he will play offensive tackle or guard in the NFL, but even if he has to play guard, he will be well worth a mid-first round draft pick.