Tedarrell Slaton is the seventh Florida Gators board in the NFL Draft Saturday, after being selected 173rd overall in the fifth round by the Green Bay Packers.
The defensive tackle continues Florida’s success in developing defensive linemen, as Slaton is now the seventh player drafted at the position since 2016.
Slaton was also the fourth player from American Heritage high school to be selected in this year’s draft. The Plantation, Florida, program produced a trio of SEC corners — Alabama’s P.J. Surtain, Georgia’s Tyson Campbell, and Marco Wilson — that were selected over the weekend.
One look at 6-foot-5, 340-pound T.J. Slaton reveals why he’s such a unique prospect at the defensive tackle position. He weighs in as the heaviest DT prospect in the draft, and his overwhelming size and quick first step make Slaton lethal in stopping the run.
Despite his bulky frame, the Fort Lauderdale native showed stellar speed by completing the short shuttle in under 4.9 seconds and the 40-yard dash in 5.09 seconds.
Slaton’s physique garnered a number of five-star ratings out of high school and offers from college football’s bluebloods, but a desire to play on defense drew Slaton to Gainesville. This size affected Slaton’s fitness his freshman year, limiting him to just 11 tackles across seven games.
He continued to earn more reps through his junior campaign, and Slaton served as a rare bright spot in Florida’s underwhelming defense last season. The defensive tackle racked up a career-high 38 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in 2020.
Slaton turned in a number of impressive performances towards the end of the season, racking up 5 tackles (2 solo) against Georgia and 6 tackles (2 solo) in his senior night outing against LSU.
While Slaton is largely projected to be a part-time player at the NFL level, organizations around the league have taken notice of his violent hands, quick first-step, and imposing size.