Packers Round Out 90 Man Roster, Claiming IDL Chris Slayton

New York Giants lineman Chris Slayton participates in drills on Day 3 of Giants minicamp on Thursday, June 6, 2019, in East Rutherford.Nyg Minicamp
New York Giants lineman Chris Slayton participates in drills on Day 3 of Giants minicamp on Thursday, June 6, 2019, in East Rutherford.Nyg Minicamp /

After releasing kicker JJ Molson just a few days ago, that left the Green Bay Packers with 89 players on their roster–one below the 90 player maximum.

With OTAs underway, that spot has now been filled, however, with the Packers claiming interior defensive lineman Chris Slayton off waivers.

On Monday, Slayton was released by the San Francisco 49ers. He is a former seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft by the New York Giants and has also spent time with Buffalo, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and the aforementioned Niners. He has no career regular-season NFL snaps.

The 6’4″ – 307 pound Slayton was an experienced player coming out of college at Syracuse with 2,205 career defensive snaps, according to PFF ($$), and another 184 on special teams–which primarily came on the field goal block unit.

Over his career, Slayton tallied 80 pressures, including a career-high of 24 — which he accomplished twice — and posted 20-plus pressures in three of his four seasons. Of those 80 pressures, 12 were sacks.

In 2016, Slayton would rank 14th out of 200 interior defensive linemen, with an average depth of tackle just 0.9 yards from the line of scrimmage. In 2017, he ranked fourth in that same category while also totaling 31 tackles for loss over his career.

Athletically, Slayton would post a RAS of 7.58 out of 10–performing particularly well in the broad jump and 3-cone drills.

For more on Slayton, below is what Lance Zierlein of wrote about him in his pre-draft report back in 2019:

"“Picturesque 3-technique with desired frame and initial quickness to make a roster, but an alarming lack of production relative to his traits. Slayton’s tape shows a player who doesn’t rev the motor hot enough to finish what he starts which has to change on the next level. If he learns to convert his early advantages into sustains and then finishes, he could become a much better player than where I currently have him graded.”"

For Slayton, his ceiling with the Green Bay Packers is most likely going to be the practice squad. At the very best, there is one spot on the 53-man roster available at the interior defensive line position, while there also is the possibility that there aren’t any openings.

At the moment, five of the roster spots are already accounted for by Kenny Clark, TJ Slaton, Dean Lowry, Devonte Wyatt, and Jarran Reed. Green Bay would keep just five defensive tackles on the roster in 2020, but they did keep six this past year.

If the Packers do end up keeping six again — which is not a guarantee, and someone will have to show that they are deserving of that roster spot over the summer — second-year UDFA Jack Heflin and 2022 seventh-round pick Jonathan Ford likely have a leg up on the competition.

Undrafted rookies Akial Byers and Hauati Pututau, along with Slayton, round out the current interior defensive line room.