Northwestern Pro Day 2021: Rashawn Slater shines, Greg Newsome struggles

NFL scouts descended on Evanston, Illinois, to dissect the 2021 Northwestern Pro Day on Tuesday, which featured multiple draft prospects. It includes one who could hear his name called in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Northwestern Wildcats finished the 2020 season with a 7-2 record, losing to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game but defeating Auburn in the Citrus Bowl. Pat Fitzgerald’s club ended the year ranked 14th in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Rashawn Slater a standout at Northwestern Pro Day 2021

The times and testing numbers from Northwestern’s 2021 Pro Day for Rashawn Slater have made their way through social media, but I’m told the offensive lineman looked even better during position drills. In fact, one scout described Slater’s performance in position drills as “great.” Slater’s testing numbers translated to his position drills, as the big lineman looked very athletic.

Scouts are comparing Slater to former Big Ten lineman and ten-year NFL veteran Rodger Saffold. He is currently ranked 37th on my 2021 NFL Draft big board. In my recently released 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Slater comes off the board in the first 20 picks.

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Greg Newsome runs fast, but disappoints in drills

The situation was very different for cornerback Greg Newsome.  While the junior ran much faster in the forty than most expected at Northwestern’s 2021 Pro Day, timing 4.38 seconds, he looked terrible in position drills. One scout described Newsome as stiff while others said Newsome was gassed early on in position drills, which left a bad taste in the mouths of NFL decision-makers.

Newsome is currently the 73rd ranked prospect on my big board.

Earnest Brown has strong showing at Northwestern Pro Day 2021

Defensive end Earnest Brown timed 4.95 seconds in the forty, completed 25 reps on the bench press (arm length was 34.5 inches), and also touched 31 in the vertical jump at Northwestern’s 2021 Pro Day.  His three-cone time was 7.25 seconds. Brown started off rocky in position drills before pulling it together. He looked really good by the end of the session, displaying a quick first step and moving well around the field.

The pass rusher flashed big-time ability in his Northwestern career and did a good job returning from injury this season. At 6-feet-4.5-inches and 270 pounds, he’s getting looks at both defensive end and as an interior pass rusher.

Brown is drawing a ton of interest from the Los Angeles Rams. The Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons also like Brown.

Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news? Want to do your own mock draft?

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Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @TonyPauline.

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