NFL

Is Top 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Rashawn Slater Related to Patriots Legend Matthew Slater?

Former Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater should expect to hear his name called early in the 2021 NFL draft.

This is a strange year with regards to the draft. All of the attention is on a highly talented quarterback class and a deep receivers group. Slater will be a first-round pick, but no one is quite sure where he’ll go in the top-20. And if the idea of an offensive lineman named Slater sounds familiar, you’re not wrong.

Rashawn Slater is a top NFL draft prospect

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At 6 feet 4 inches and 304 pounds, Rashawn Slater is entering the NFL ready to dominate.

Slater, who turned 22 in March, starred at Northwestern from 2017-19. A preseason All-American selection last year, Slater opted out of the 2020 season and focused on preparing for the NFL draft.

NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein compared Slater to Cincinnati Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams, the 11th overall pick in 2019. Zierlein praised Slater’s experience and strength, two traits that could serve him well in the NFL.

“Slater operates with confidence and efficient movement that sees him in position to get his job done on most snaps. His lack of length will lead some teams to view him as a guard, but the footwork and talent outside might be worth allowing him to prove it at tackle first. His combination of strength, athletic ability, and quick processing should make him one of the safer offensive line picks in this draft and an early starter.”

Lance Zierlein

Depending on how the 2021 NFL draft goes, Slater could find himself playing on the same line as Williams in the years to come.

Matthew Slater is a New England Patriots legend

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Rashawn Slater shouldn’t expect to be the only player with that surname on an NFL roster in 2021.

Matthew Slater still plays for the New England Patriots, and he is one of the greatest players in team history. Slater is best known for his role as the Patriots’ special teams ace.

Slater, who turns 36 in September, has earned first-team All-Pro honors on five occasions since 2011 and appeared on the second-team twice in the last four years. The three-time Super Bowl champion has also earned Pro Bowl honors nine times since he debuted in 2008.

Technically a receiver, Slater’s lone career reception came in 2011 when he had a 46-yard catch-and-run against the Miami Dolphins. He is currently the Patriots’ longest-tenured player.

Are Rashawn Slater and Matthew Slater related?

Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater in 2019.
Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater is a top 2021 NFL draft prospect. | Corey Perrine/Getty Images

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Matthew Slater is the son of Jackie Slater, the legendary Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Rashawn Slater could very well embark on his own Hall of Fame path, but his football genes don’t come from Jackie or Matthew Slater. Rashawn is not related to those two in any form.

There is an offensive line prospect in the 2021 NFL draft with football bloodlines, however. Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis is the grandson of Willie Davis, the Hall of Fame pass-rusher who won two Super Bowl rings with the Green Bay Packers.

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