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Northwestern OL Slater 'all for' joining 49ers' scheme

/ by Matt Maiocco
Presented By Big O Tires
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Slater, 49ers

Rashawn Slater of Northwestern ranks himself atop the list of offensive tackles in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Yet, if a team wants him to break into the league at guard or center, he is willing to do that, too.

“I think I’m the best tackle in the draft,” Slater said on a video call with reporters after his pro day workout. “So I have a high level of confidence about that.

“But at the same time, I’m a team player. So if a team wants to play me at guard, so be it. I’m all for it, as long as that’s what’s best for the team. I’m happy to play at whatever position they want me at.”

The 49ers own the No. 12 overall pick in the draft. If Slater is still available, he could be a perfect fit for the 49ers’ offense.

If the 49ers are able to re-sign free-agent Trent Williams, Slater could start out at guard or center before moving to tackle down the road.

If Williams signs elsewhere, Slater could be a Day 1 starter at left tackle.

Slater, who said he has already spoken to the 49ers, said he believes he is a good fit for the 49ers’ scheme. Slater is 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds. He ran a time of 4.88 in the 40-yard dash on Tuesday, and had 33 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press.

“I’m all for it,” Slater said of fitting into the 49ers’ system. “I can do it all. I feel like today I showed that, as far as athleticism. I’m all for it. I’d love to be in that kind of scheme.

 

“(It) seems like a really, really awesome organization, just the way they run things. That’s a positive for sure.”

Slater said he has watched and admired two men who have lined up at left tackle for the 49ers — Joe Staley and, now, Williams.

“Joe is a guy kind of like me, maybe not seen as the prototypical size of a left tackle, yet he was still extremely effective,” Slater said. “And just the way he was able to play. He was a master technician.

“And then Trent is a freak athlete who is also an amazing technician and does some amazing things with his hands.”

RELATED: How Williams' market value increased before NFL free agency

Slater opted out of his final season at Northwestern when the football season was in a state of flux. He said he felt as if a winter or spring season did not allow enough time for recovery and training to step into the NFL and thrive as a rookie. He said NFL teams have been understanding of his decision.

Slater and tackle Penei Sewell of Oregon are generally regarded as the two best offensive linemen in the draft.

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