In the coming weeks, we will be going position-by-position and previewing this year’s draft class. Before we get into the reports though, it’s important that we explain how our grading scale works. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).
Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect.
The final tackle scale is as follows:
|9.0 – 7.0||High-end starter. Pro Bowl level.|
|6.9 – 6.7||Strong starter with 2 position flexibility.|
|6.6 - 6.5||Lower end starter who plays only 1 position.|
|6.3||3rd OT. Swing OT that plays RT and LT.|
|6.1-6.0||Developmental. Top traits but needs time.|
|5.9||Backup LT. 1 position player.|
|5.8||Backup RT. 1 position player.|
|5.7||4th OT. Functional depth level player.|
For this preview, we will look at Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater.
Rashawn Slater: OT Rank 2 of 21 | Final Grade: 6.9
Report by Ben Hkrach
Slater is an athletic technician of a blocker, with the hands, feet, savvy, and body control to play right tackle at a high level.
Rashawn Slater played right and left tackle for Northwestern’s balanced rushing attack and quick passing game. He started all 37 career games dating back to his true freshman season before opting out of his senior year. He started his first two years at right tackle before moving to LT in 2019. Slater is a nimble athlete that is very flexible and well proportioned, but he doesn’t have the longest arms for a tackle.
In the pass game, Slater excels as a hand fighter. He lacks ideal size and length on the perimeter, so he makes up for it with savvy and hand strength. He uses a staggered punch and is adept at flashing hands and repositioning when needed. He has the ability to initiate the battle with a one handed shot to the chest and follow up by controlling with his off hand. He is also good at baiting the defender into committing, disarming their hands, and stonewalling their pass rush.
No matter his tactic, Slater has a very good latch and sustain, along with a good finish. On occasion, he will get grabby outside of the frame of the defender against length and strength, which are his greatest vulnerabilities. He does show a good anchor and great body control to sit down and catch himself when being bull rushed at awkward angles. His reactive athleticism and feet are good and he primarily takes quick, low steps. He can get sloppy and will click his heels in his vertical sets, as well as crossing his feet against inside moves. Slater saves himself with his balance and very good ankle flexion. He shows a lack of awareness on stunts and crossers at times, tracking the initial movement too far making it difficult to recover for the loop behind, but again his recovery quickness is a strong counter skill.
Slater is a very good run blocker, winning with quick, low feet, a square base, and very good hand strength. Once he latches, he almost never comes disengaged. He has sufficient power, but flashes nastiness to put a defender into the ground at multiple levels. He is adept at gaining body position and swiftly seals off defenders to open run lanes. He is not a body mover but has enough power to stalemate most interior players one-on-one.
Slater shows good range on pulls and is very good at the second level. He arrives quickly with heavy hands and is under control enough to match quicker defenders. Slater does show a lack of awareness on some pulls and combo blocks to space. He is not a great multitasker and tends to complete his job before evaluating his next move.
Overall, Slater projects best as a right tackle in a run-heavy power offense. He has all of the tools to be a great run blocker, should he develop some more power, and is a good pass protector. He could project to start at guard as a rookie if that’s the easiest place to win a job. He also projects as a starting-level left tackle, but his skill set is ideally suited to the right side.
|Hand fighting and grip strength||Arm length|
|Penalties||Blown Block Splits|
|Zone Run Blocking||Gap Run Blocking||Pass Block|
|Year||% of Runs||Y/A||Pos%||% of Runs||Y/A||Pos%||Pressure%|
|Blown Block %||When Running to their Gap||Total Points||Total Points Rtg|
Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the third annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 300 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2021 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). The book also includes unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, articles on key football subjects (including injuries), and the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points.