Texas A&M (2020), Georgia (2020), Vanderbilt (2019)
Anytime you describe a player as "6'4 340 lbs and moves well for his size..." NFL coaches and talent evaluators will lean in a bit and take a closer look. Slaton is a massive human being that carries his weight well and has a pass rush mindset. He shoots his hands well off the line and tirelessly works to disengage from blockers. Above average pass rush moves for a man his size. His big frame absorbs contact from double teams and he has flashed walk-back type strength to push interrior lineman backwards once he gets his hands on them.
A lot of what gets you excited about Slaton is projection of what he can be, not what he is now. His first step is often late and upright which negates a lot of his natural power. He is a bit of an anomaly in that at his size, he's really not a stout gap-filling run defender. On tape he is noticeably fatigued at times and completely washed out of plays. Not an every down player and also not a run or pass specialist leaving him without a true role.
Slaton is a gigantic human and a gigantic project for an NFL team. A lot of coaching will be required to get the most out of his natural size and abilities. That being said, the juice could be worth the squeeze in the late rounds as men his size don’t grow on trees. I look at Slaton as an ideal choice in the 7th RD, when proven talents are off the board and teams are looking at the upside over the floor of the available prospects. Coaches will need to invest heavily in his retooling his first step; getting him to fire quicker and lower. If that can be done, his natural power and violent hands will be magnified and you end up with a rotational interrior lineman that presents consistent matchup problems for Cs and Gs accross the league.
Well distributed weight at 330 lbs. Moves well for his size. Strong base allows him to take on contact with minimal disruption to his balance. Plays heavy and difficult for one man to move. He's "A lot" for an interrior lineman to take on and can walk back C/Gs. Lack of explosive first step minimizes his ability to get to the QB. Walked a G back off of the goaline vs. Texas A&M leading to a big RedZone stop.
Pass Rush Ability:
Big Play Ability
Use of Hands
Pass Rush Moves
Will never be the first one off the line. First step is late and upright. Loses leveage quickly which negates a lot of the power in his lower half. Shoots his hands fast and powerfully. Initial jolt knocked several SEC lineman backwards. Rush is all power based. Shows good rip under move and decent swim move but not a lot of creativity as a pass rusher. Uses hands and arms well; working very hard to shed. When he does close on a QB, you feel for the QB's parents. He can engulfs QBs when he arrives on time.
Against The Run:
Not the run stuffer he should be at his size. Fires a tick late and too tall causing him to lose leveage. Powerful punch and great use of his long arms to stack. Struggles shedding at times but works hard to get free. Seldom meets the runner at the line of scrimmage. Too much production downfield. Plays too tall to shoot gaps and consistantly make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Often wraps ballcarries high in a bear hug and does not drop the immediately.
Play with Leverage
Stack and Shed
Gap Shooting Ability
Absorbs double team and maintains balance. Pursuit backside is minimal and laborious; Slaton is not tracking anyone down. At times looks like he's playing exhausted; sluggish, upright, and loses his hands. Too easily turned and moved on select plays leading to concerns about gas tank, focus, or consistency.
Not a three-down lineman, nor has Slaton established himself as a run or pass specialist. Is not a true run stuffer and lacks the athleticism to be an impactful pass rusher. Seems more engaged as a rusher and has a better feel for that part of his game. Keeps his eyes low and straight minimizing his peripherals.