Tedarrell Slaton - IDL, Florida
By the numbers:
6'5", 340 pounds.
2020: 38 tackles (3.5 for loss), 1.5 sacks in 11 games played.
Tedarrell Slaton has great size for a defensive lineman. His length will be a matchup issue for shorter guards at the next level. He's a difficult man to move and sometimes commands double-teams due to being an imposing interior presence. Slaton can occupy gaps and take up space well, which is a necessary trait for successful NFL nose tackles.
Slaton has heavy, violent hands at the point of attack and uses them as part of either a swim or bull-rush throughout his rep. He maintains good leverage for such a massive tackle and rarely gets stood up. Slaton's motor runs hot and even when his technique lags behind the rest of his game, he consistently displays good effort.
From a processing and fundamental standpoint, Slaton has a lot of work to do. His hand placement is inconsistent and he finds himself in precarious positions as a result of it. He's still learning how to remain balanced and doesn't always disengage before making efforts outside of his assignment. The game hasn't slowed down for him and until it does, he's best suited for a depth role on the interior of the defensive line.
As a pass-rusher, Slaton is underdeveloped. He doesn't use his moves in succession and doesn't have the requisite explosiveness or agility to make up for it. He shows flashes of being able to get pressure on the quarterback but despite that, his ceiling likely lies as a two-down player moving forward.
How Slaton fits with the Chiefs:
Luckily for the Chiefs, adding a defensive tackle early in this year's draft isn't a primary need. Chris Jones is firmly entrenched with quality depth behind him, and Derrick Nnadi will start alongside him in 2021. With that said, this is the final season of Nnadi's contract. Drafting someone like Slaton as a lottery ticket with the upside to possibly replace Nnadi makes good sense if that's the direction the team wants to take. He's a good fit as a 1-tech in the Chiefs' 4-3 scheme.
Most Day 3 draft prospects don't have a great or elite building block. Slaton's is his size, which makes him a candidate to become a prototypical gap-eating, run-stuffing nose tackle in the NFL. He needs to improve quite a bit before getting to that point, though. He's a solid option as a fifth-round pick that's rough around the edges but if everything clicks for him one day, the Chiefs could have a starting-caliber player on their hands.