Choose the next Cowboys lineman: Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater?
Sewell is known for being a stud but not for being a great athlete. Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater is known for being a stud and a freakish athlete. He will catch your eye on the field and in the weight room.
He played at left tackle, but many are looking at him as an interior lineman. Think of Dallas’ right guard, Zack Martin. Both are athletic linemen that were tackles converted to guards.
Slater’s athleticism is impressive, earning a 9.97 grade out of 10 from Relative Athletic Score. While his six feet and four inches of height and 304 pounds are considered small among offensive guards, his 33 reps of benching 225 pounds at Northwestern’s pro day makes up for it.
His explosiveness and agility were also on display. It is the latter that impressed me the most. He ran a 4.45 shuttle and a 7.48 three-cone, grading him a 9.65 and 9.38, respectively.
His agility will be relied upon when trying to block dominant interior defensive linemen in the NFC East. Names such as Leonard Williams, Daron Payne, and Fletcher Cox will line up against the Cowboys twice every season.
The lineman opted out of the 2020 season because of Covid-19, so scouts only have tape from 2018, 2019, and his pro day. It is enough to put him in the conversation as one of the best offensive linemen in this year’s NFL Draft.
The progress Slater made from his freshman year to his final season in 2019 show he is a player that has intriguing developmental traits. You can expect him to grow with any team, and the Cowboys should keep that in mind.
He can learn from one of the best offensive guards of the decade in Zack Martin and a great offensive line coach in Joe Philbin. Both would grow under similar circumstances. Could Slater reach the same heights as Martin?