By CBSLA Staff

(CBSLA)- The Los Angeles Chargers addressed one of the roster’s biggest holes on Thursday night, selecting offensive lineman Rashawn Slater from Northwestern with the No. 13 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Slater will be expected to step in and protect last year’s first round pick Justin Herbert.

Slater was a three-year starter for the Wildcats along the offensive line playing both left and right tackle. He opted out of playing in the 2020 season due to COVID concerns. He started all 12 games at right tackle as a true freshman for the Wildcats before starting 14 games at that spot in 2018 and earning third team All-Big Ten conference honors. In 2019, he made the move to left tackle where he made 11 starts and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

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The breakout moment for Slater came when he battled 2020 No. 2 overall pick Chase Young one-on-one throughout the Wildcats matchup with the Buckeyes in 2019. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein sees Slater as one of the safer options at the position.

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“His combination of strength, athletic ability and quick processing should make him one of the safer offensive line picks in this draft and an early starter.”

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Slater joins a new look Chargers offensive line that includes free agent signings Oday Aboushi, Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler.