While offensive players will dominate the Florida Gators selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, Tedarrell Slaton is one player who may bolster the Gators’ draft class as a late-round selection in a weak defensive tackle class.
Tedarrell Slaton NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Defensive Tackle
- School: Florida
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 330 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Tedarrell Slaton Scouting Report
Positives: 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.
Negatives: Was a little too large at Florida, tipping the scales at more than 350 pounds. Average production in college and isn’t much of a pass rusher.
Analysis: 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.
Tedarrell Slaton Player Profile
Slaton will be one of the biggest players at the 2021 NFL Draft. However, the Florida defensive tackle is almost a shadow of the gargantuan human that took to the field for American Heritage High School. Playing under former NFL cornerback Patrick Surtain for the Patriots, he was listed at 6’5″ and 360 pounds.
Naturally, Slaton gravitated to playing in the trenches. Although he lined up at defensive tackle for the two-time FHSAA 5A State Champions, his predominant position was offensive tackle. He played right tackle, earning All-American recognition but was widely regarded as a guard prospect in recruiting circles.
Ranked as the third-best guard in the 2017 recruiting class, he was inundated with interest. The four-star recruit received over 20 offers, with multiple in-state and SEC programs trying to secure his signature. Although he entertained an offer from Kentucky, the Fort Lauderdale native would eventually commit to Florida.
Slaton’s college football career at Florida
Although he wouldn’t become a full-time starter for Florida until his senior season, Slaton found a way to contribute at defensive tackle immediately. During his freshman campaign, he saw playing time in 11 games. He contributed 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, including a tackle in his debut against Michigan.
Having made an impact as a freshman, Slaton earned his first start as a sophomore in 2017. The Florida defensive tackle started against Charleston and Kentucky, registering a tackle for loss against a Wildcats’ team that could have been his home. His sophomore season also included a then career-high 5 tackles against Tennessee and an interception against Florida State.
Although he isn’t credited with a start as a junior, Slaton continued his gradual uptick in production. He set a new career-high single-game tackles total against Georgia and Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, he set a career-high total for tackles for loss and sacks as part of a 29-tackle campaign.
Slaton saved his best for last, though. During his senior season, Slaton made 12 starts at defensive tackle for Florida. Kentucky was made to rue not securing his services out of high school as he raised his best single-game tackle performance with 7 tackles against the Wildcats.
He registered 37 total tackles while being credited with an additional 5 quarterback hurries. Following the conclusion of the season, Slaton declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Tedarrell Slaton’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Slaton’s size and surprising athleticism may be alluring to NFL teams. He has demonstrated some element of pass-rush ability, although that has been achieved more through effort rather than technical ability. Meanwhile, Slaton offers some element of versatility at the defensive tackle position, having played both nose tackle and three-technique for Florida. As a result, he should be able to play in either three or four-man fronts.
There are multiple teams with a need at the defensive tackle position in the 2021 NFL Draft. Some of those include the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Seattle Seahawks. The versatility and demand for defensive tackles could result in him hearing his name called in Cleveland. However, it is more likely that he lands in a training camp as an undrafted free agent.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.