Rashawn Slater with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2021 NFL Draft Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Chargers hit a home run with Rashawn Slater, their top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and here are three predictions for his rookie season.
Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater is expected to help solve what was a massive problem for the Los Angeles Chargers last year: a less-than-lackluster offensive line, which finished 2020 ranked as Pro Football Focus’ worst O-line in the league.
Not surprisingly, general manager Tom Telesco spent a good deal of effort during the offseason looking to revamp this unit, and those moves were highlighted by the free-agent addition of former Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley and then the first-round NFL Draft selection of Slater.
Slater was in the mix to be considered the top offensive lineman in this year’s class, going neck and neck with Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. And while some thought Sewell the better prospect, others felt it was Slater who was both more well-rounded and had the higher ceiling.
Either way, the Bolts couldn’t go wrong with Slater at No. 13 overall.
With Slater aboard, Los Angeles won’t have to worry quite as much about protecting their high-profile draft investment from a year ago, quarterback Justin Herbert, and his own maturation and development should improve considerably now that he won’t have to worry as much about his blind side being a liability.
Just by adding Slater, the Chargers offense should see a notable improvement from a year ago.
As far as the rookie is concerned, he’ll be under pressure to live up to his lofty draft status. There’s little reason to assume he won’t rise to the challenge, yet let’s take a look at some notably lofty predictions for the former Northwestern star who’ll be an immediate upgrade at left tackle.