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The Green Bay Packers took a massive, run-stuffing defensive lineman in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL draft, using the 173rd overall pick on Florida nose tackle Tedarrell Slaton.
The 330-pounder tallied 10.5 tackles for losses during his collegiate career.
What to learn more about Slaton, a one-year starter at Florida who could be a two-gapping player in Green Bay? Here’s what the top draft analysts said about him during the pre-draft process:
Dane Brugler, The Athletic (draft guide): “A one-year starter at Florida, Slaton played nose tackle in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s even and odd fronts. He was the highest-ranked recruit in the Gators’ 2017 class (ahead of C.J. Henderson and Kadarius Toney), although his college career was a slow ascent as he adapted to the defensive line after playing primarily on offense in high school. Slaton carries his weight like a smaller player while flashing the raw strength to stay underneath blocks and find the football. His senior tape showed a more mature player, but his shed timing, gap leverage and overall consistency require further development. Overall, Slaton is a massive athlete with the raw power, promising technique and two-gap potential to be an intriguing project for an NFL defensive line coach.”
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: “Massive man with evenly distributed body weight that will have him pegged as a nose in either even or odd fronts. While the traits say run-plugger, the tape does not. He doesn’t control the point of attack with power and frequently gave ground to double teams and angle blocks. He has the power to handle single blocks and might be able to strengthen the anchor if his bend and leverage can be improved. He’s a try-hard rusher whose athleticism creates more pressure than expected. He has late-round value and might become a developmental prospect on a practice squad.”
Jordan Reid, The Draft Network: Tedarrell Slaton is an impressively built interior defensive line prospect. He’s listed at nearly 360 pounds, but looks much slimmer than his listed weight—he looks around 330 pounds and carries his weight well with an evenly distributed body structure. Leverage is the name of his game and he often starts low in his stance. He’s able to remain at that level throughout the duration of reps. An extremely powerful player at the point of attack, he makes it difficult for double teams to move him off of his spots. He’s a true head-up 0-technique that thrives with maintaining both A-gaps. Slaton wins strictly off of bull rush attempts and it’s a method that’s been highly effective for him to this point in his career. He also incorporates a quick swim move when able to jump the snap. He’s been treated primarily as a two-down defender and he won’t provide much value on third down or obvious passing situations. As a run defender, there are stretches of inconsistencies of where he can make plays while engaged on single blocks, but he fails to make an impact and thus falls victim to runs being exploited through his gap. He has the arm strength to reach out and stop rushers in their tracks, but he often doesn’t reach out and make an effort to make those types of plays often. There are periods where Slaton has struggled with maintaining his balance when knocked out of plays and he has some reps of where he will randomly fall to the ground.”
Bleacher Report Scouting Department: “As a prep, Tedarrell Slaton was a highly recruited offensive line prospect but chose to play on the defensive side of the ball, which he hardly played in high school. He did not start for Florida defensively until his final season, after he had already been suspended and had weight fluctuation issues for the Gators. He has upside as a nose tackle prospect, based on how he moves at his size, but short arms and small hands do not help his projection. Slaton should be put in a position to have to compete for a roster spot at the NFL level and may be the type of defensive lineman who has to convert back to the offensive side of the ball.”
Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network: “Large, wide-bodied gap occupier who flashes power. Fires off the snap, uses his hands well, and keeps his feet moving. Strong in his lower body, and bullrushes blockers off the line of scrimmage to penetrate the backfield. Plays with proper lean. Slaton displayed the ability to clog the middle of the field and push the pocket at the college level, but he must round into a complete defensive lineman if he’s to play on Sundays. He’s dropped almost 30 pounds since the end of his senior season and is headed in the right direction. Slaton’s size and power will get consideration from two-gap defenses, and at the very least, he’s worth stashing on a practice squad next fall.”
Steve Muench, Scouts Inc.: “Slaton is a powerful interior run stopper with rare size. He can control the middle of the line of scrimmage when he plays with good pad level. He flashes the ability to push the pocket as a pass-rusher.”