With the 13th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers have selected Rashawn Slater, making him Northwestern’s first first round pick since Luis Castillo was selected by the Chargers in 2005. He is also the Wildcats’ first offensive player to go in the first round since offensive tackle Chris Hinton was taken fourth overall by the Denver Broncos in 1983.
Slater enrolled at Northwestern in 2017 as a three-star recruit, according to 247Sports. He had few other offers coming out of high school, the most significant of which came from the University of Kansas and the University of Illinois.
Slater was quick to carve out a role for himself in Northwestern’s trenches. He started his first game as a true freshman at right tackle against Nevada, rotating in and out of the line and splitting reps with fellow tackle Gunnar Vogel. From there he continued to build his resume, eventually becoming the most notorious name on the Wildcats’ offensive line. His stellar blocking ability shone bright in matchups against the likes of Chase Young in 2019.
It’s important to note that Slater hasn’t seen in-game action since 2019, as he decided to opt out from the 2020 season. That didn’t stop him from vaulting up draft boards throughout the offseason, however. Entering the draft, he was widely considered to be the second best lineman of the draft class behind Oregon’s Penei Sewell, who was taken seventh overall by the Detroit Lions tonight.
Lastly, and most importantly, we’ll get to see Slater creating space for Justin Jackson the Ball Carrier once again.
Congratulations to Rashawn Slater and his family!