GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers used their fifth-round pick on Florida defensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton. Here’s a look at Slaton’s four-year career with the Gators.
Tedarrell Slaton’s Stats at Florida
Slaton, who also goes by T.J., arrived on campus with big dreams of breaking Florida’s single-season sacks record of 13. Instead, he mustered only 3.5 sacks in 45 career games. Of his 14 career starts, a dozen came as a senior, when he set a career high with 37 tackles. He added 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses, just off his career highs of two sacks and four TFLs from 2019.
Over 45 career games, he recorded 98 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10 TFLs and one pass defensed.
An offensive tackle in high school, Slaton will be battle-tested coming out of the powerful SEC.
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“Playing in the SEC is exciting,” he said. “That’s a hard conference to play in. Playing in the SEC for four years is great, playing against the best competition in the nation. Going up there, playing with (Kenny) Clark, I’m going up there willing to learn, get all the advice that he can give me and see if we can click on the field together and really cause some disruption.”
Going Beyond the Box Score
With the Packers plagued by chronically poor run defense, general manager Brian Gutekunst took a flier on Slaton, who was a high school All-American but never got close to playing at that level with the Gators.
“Obviously, T.J.’s a monster,” Gutekunst said. “He’s got great size, great length. He’s really tough to dig out of that inside there. He’s one of those guys that can clog up the middle, eat up space and find the ball. If teams want to run it on us, I think specifically as we get later in the season, we have an ability to go in there and get big. And that was why we selected him.”
Slaton played at about 340 pounds during the season, was down to 330 for pro day and intends to be 320 when he arrives in Green Bay. Cutting some weight should help his stamina and potentially improve his overall performance. Sports Info Solutions has a metric called bounce rate, which measures the percentage of runs that wound up somewhere other than their designed gap. Slaton had a bounce rate of 48 percent in 2019, when he played 265 snaps. His workload almost doubled in 2020 to 536 snaps for the season and about 45 per game, and his bounce rate fell to just 30 percent. Fatigue also shows up with missed tackles. According to Pro Football Focus, he missed eight last year – second-most in the nation among all interior defenders.
While the sack numbers weren’t there, his pass-rush win rate of 11.6 percent was well above average, according to Pro Football Focus. His size, effort and explosiveness off the ball were hard to handle. He drew two holding penalties.
“I’ve just got to work on consistent hands and just basically staying on the field longer and more,” he said. “Coming off this past season of playing like 60-plus reps a game definitely showed people that I can stay on the field. I just feel like my weakness is my hands but that will grow with reps and consistency, and I’ve definitely got to get better at being consistent.”