The Chargers had an obvious need at left tackle and filled it by selecting Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater in the first round.
Slater said that he couldn’t have picked a better place for himself, particularly with a good young QB like Justin Herbert and several offensive weapons. Slater’s new head coach agrees about Slater’s fit for Los Angeles, explaining why during an appearance this week on the Rich Eisen Show.
“We just felt like this guy is going to fit in with this group so well,” Staley said. “He plays left tackle. It wasn’t like, hey, you’ve got to move him to left tackle. He plays left tackle. And then just how we’re trying to play, and who we’re trying to play with, Rashawn is an outstanding fit.”
Staley noted the Chargers felt there was a good chance Slater wouldn’t be around for their selection at No. 13. But as L.A. saw things unfold last Thursday, the draft room realized Slater could fall into the team’s lap.
“We anticipated Rashawn going in the top 10. We felt like he was that caliber of player,” Staley said. “And then we also knew that with the quarterbacks and kind of the skill players on offense, that possibly some of these corners, it could fit right. And I think that once he got past Carolina, we felt like hey, there’s a chance. And felt like there was an outside chance Dallas could take him. And then when they went another direction, when they went with Micah [Parsons], we knew that we had him.”
Slater fills a critical role for a team that also signed former Packers center Corey Linsley in free agency over the offseason. With those two in tow, Herbert’s protection should be better in 2021 — and that should significantly aid his progress.