There was one player that fans were hoping would fall to the LA Chargers in the 2021 NFL Draft: Rashawn Slater. The Bolts had the 13th overall pick in the draft and Slater was projected to go in the 10-13 range, with many believing that he would go just before the Chargers.
Thus, the Bolts would have missed out on getting one of the two elite offensive tackles from that class (along with Penei Sewell) and would have had to settle with someone like Christian Darrisaw.
However, the NFL Draft did what it normally does and surprised us. Slater fell to the Bolts with the 13th pick and was the most obvious selection possible for the Chargers. Slater was the pick and he instantly became one of the best tackles in the league.
Slater has proven already that he is going to be the franchise tackle that the team has been looking for. Despite his height and size concerns, Slater put together a Pro Bowl season that also made him a Second-Team All-Pro.
Chargers tackle Rashawn Slater is even getting the credit he deserves from his peers.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler has continued his yearly tradition of surveying NFL coaches, players and executives in order to discover who the league thinks are the top 10 players in each position. Fowler released the tackles list on Friday and Slater was a guarantee to make it. The question was just how high.
Slater ended up being ranked with the elite tackles in the game as he checked in as the fourth-highest ranked tackle in the league. The only tackles ahead of Slater are David Bakhtiari, Tristan Wirfs and Trent Williams.
Someone ranked Slater as high as the second-best tackle in the entire sport while his lowest ranking was somehow out of the top 10 completely. Whoever ranked Slater outside of the top 10 probably deserves to get booted from the league as they obviously do not know anything about offensive tackles.
This is all after year one, keep in mind. The only young tackle ahead of Slater on these rankings is Wirfs and there is a good chance that he and Slater rank first and second on this list next year. Slater is certainly good enough and more experience in the league is only going to make him better.
Now the hope for the Chargers is that Zion Johnson can be 80% as good at right guard as Slater was at left tackle in his rookie year. If so, the Bolts are going to have one of the best offensive lines in the entire sport.