NFL mock draft 2021: Panthers, Patriots, Bears get aggressive for QBs

Zach Wilson lands with the Carolina Panthers in this 2021 NFL mock draft (Photo by Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Zach Wilson lands with the Carolina Panthers in this 2021 NFL mock draft (Photo by Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Rashawn Slater, 2021 NFL mock draft
The San Francisco 49ers select Rashawn Slater at No. 12 in this 2021 NFL mock draft (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

2021 NFL mock draft: Round 1, 12th overall

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Northwestern. Rashawn Slater. OL. 12. player. 42

The San Francisco 49ers could certainly look to attack the quarterback position in the first round of the draft. However, they were not willing to get as aggressive as some other teams in this 2021 NFL mock draft. Instead of investing heavily in a quarterback, the 49ers simply sit back and find value at an important position of need.

If the 49ers are not able to bring left tackle Trent Williams back in free agency, they will obviously have a massive hole at the most important offensive line position. If this happens, taking a true left tackle in the first round becomes even more likely. However, even if Williams comes back, Rashawn Slater makes sense for the 49ers at No. 12.

Slater is an extremely quick and athletic offensive line prospect who does a great job of getting out and making blocks in space. He also moves his feet extremely well in pass protection and does a great job of attacking forward and winning with an aggressive style. Slater is not the most naturally powerful offensive lineman around, but he is a tough and physical player who will work hard to win at the point of contact and maintain his advantage.

Slater is an offensive tackle prospect who could play on the left or right side at the next level. However, his skills also translate well inside if a team decides to take that route with him. If Williams comes back to San Francisco and the team drafts Slater in the first round, the rookie would likely be an offensive guard early in his career. However, his ultimate future would likely still be at one of the tackle positions.