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Packers Add Defensive Lineman Off Waivers

When he first showed up on a practice field as a high school freshman, he wanted to play quarterback. He turned into an all-conference performer at Syracuse.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers added defensive lineman Chris Slayton off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers, according to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson.

A seventh-round pick by the New York Giants in 2019, he has never played in a regular-season game. He spent his rookie season on the Giants’ practice squad and the 2020 season on the practice squads of the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons. Last season, he failed to make the Falcons’ roster during training camp, then spent one week on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad and the second half of the season on the 49ers’ practice squad.

At Syracuse, Slayton played in 49 games, including 42 starts. He tallied 107 tackles, including 32.5 tackles for losses and 9.5 sacks, along with five forced fumbles. He finished his career ninth in Orange history in TFLs. As a senior captain, he was third-team all-ACC with 3.5 sacks and eight TFLs.

Slayton didn’t play football until high school. When he first tried the sport, he wanted to play quarterback. Already a big guy, the coaches pointed him to the defensive line.

“I wanted to quit, but my mom told me I couldn’t. (She) saw it in me,” he recalled.

He’s strong, and he blossomed into a force at Syracuse after his reluctant start to the game.

“He is the key to what we do on defense,” then-coach Dino Babers said in 2017. “He's going to be a professional football player. He's going to graduate with a Syracuse degree, and he's going to be a professional football player. That's what Chris Slayton is going to be. He's outstanding.”

At the 2019 Scouting Combine, he measured 6-foot-3 5/8 and 307 pounds with 33 1/2-inch arms. He put up 28 reps on the 225-pound bench press and ran his 40 in 5.13 seconds. That equated to an above-average Relative Athletic Score.

With Slayton, the Packers have 10 defensive linemen on their 90-man roster. The others: Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Jarran Reed, TJ Slaton, Jack Heflin, first-round pick Devonte Wyatt, seventh-round pick Jonathan Ford and undrafed free agents Hauati Pututau and Akial Byers. Lowry did not practice on Tuesday.

Including restricted free agent receiver Allen Lazard, who hasn’t signed his tender, and unsigned draft picks Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Zach Tom, the Packers have 89 players on their roster. Slayton would make it 90.

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