With their first pick in the fifth round, the Green Bay Packers select Tedarrell Slaton, interior defensive lineman from Florida. Here some initial thoughts on the selection.
– Adding to the interior defensive line room felt like a must, but unfortunately, this was not a deep draft class, so this selection may have taken longer than what many fans had hoped.
– The mantra by many has been “get Kenny Clark some help,” and Slaton can provide that with his skill-set as a nose tackle, but the Green Bay Packers also needed some depth as well. In terms of experience, this is a very thin room.
– Slaton has three years of experience but was a starter only in 2020. He tallied 19 pressures, two sacks, and 18 stops–or plays that constitute a loss for the offense.
– During the 2018 and 2019 seasons where Slaton totaled just under 500 sacks, he recorded 15 pressures, three sacks, and 24 stops.
– Super athletic for his size, can dunk a basketball and do a back-flip.
– In the NFL, he may never fill up the stat sheet as a pass-rusher, but his teammates will benefit from his presence on the field, and so will the run defense.
– At 6’5″ – 340 pounds, Slaton is someone who will take up space and occupy blockers at the 0 or 1-tech alignments. This is great news for Kenny Clark as it allows Green Bay to move him to 4-tech, where he will have more one-on-one matchups and can potentially make an even larger impact.
– In the Joe Barry defense, Clark and the unproven Anthony Rush were the only players who really made sense to line up at nose tackle, but Slaton will be another player to add to that mix.
– For a closer look at Slaton’s game, here is what Jordan Reid of The Draft Network had to say in his report:
"“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.”"