5 offensive tackles the Panthers could target in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) Rashawn Slater
(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) Rashawn Slater /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Rashawn Slater /

Rashawn Slater – Northwestern

Rashawn Slater is the next best option at offensive tackle prospect immediately after Penei Sewell.

While he chose not to play in 2020 due to COVID-19 health concerns, Slater played exceptionally well as a starting tackle for Northwestern in 2018 and 2019. According to Pro Football Focus, he played 1,048 snaps at right tackle in 2018 and 783 snaps at left tackle the following year, only allowing two sacks over both campaigns.

Slater more than held his own against defensive end Chase Young, the second overall pick in 2020 who took the NFL by storm on his way to Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. It takes mighty fine work to perform so well against a player as elite as the edge rusher in a game where your team loses 52-3.

It’s evident then that Slater would provide immediate help at left tackle for the Carolina Panthers if they were to select him with the No. 8 overall selection. There is no doubt he won’t be available beyond No. 15, but choosing him in the top-10 would be far from a waste.

This is especially true for a Panthers offensive line that has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play over the last couple of seasons.

It’s generally not a bad idea to pursue the best option you can to solve a problem that has proven to be both persistent and harmful. While there are a number of news articles that suggest Slater’s physical dimensions could hinder his ability in the NFL, I believe he remains the best and most realistic option for Carolina at the offensive tackle position.