The Syracuse Orange football program has only seen two former players drafted since 2014 and both (Zaire Franklin in 2018, Riley Dixon in 2016) went in the seventh round .
We’ll find out on Thursday, April 25 if SU has better luck in this year’s NFL Draft, but we’re profiling Syracuse players who may hear their name called. Previous profiles have included Jamal Custis, Eric Dungey and Cody Conway. Today, we look at Chris Slayton.
Name: Chris Slayton
Position: Defensive Lineman
Weight: 307 lbs.
Hometown: University Park, IL
NFL Draft Projections: 6th round pick
Senior Stats: 24 total tackles (16 solo, 8 assisted), 8 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks
Career Stats: 107 total tackles (66 solo, 41 assisted), 32.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks
Game to Watch: 2018 vs. Clemson (Four solo tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack)
Pro Day/Scouting Combine Performance:
- 40-yard dash: 5.14 seconds
- Bench press: 28 reps
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.73 seconds
- Vertical leap: 29.0 inches
- Broad jump: 101.0 inches
Slayton is a classic three-technique who passes every eye test when it comes to his measureables. He’s got the build and size to be an NFL defensive lineman and despite being 6-foot-4, he still manages to get low enough and win leverage battles. This makes him a very effective bull rusher that gives him a lot of opportunities.
The problem is that he doesn’t take advantage of those opportunities. For a guy with his skillset and potential, his college numbers are alarmingly low for scouts. When he manages to break into the backfield, he too frequently fails to capitalize. Some scouts also say his snap-to-snap effort could’ve been better at SU.
Fun Fact: Slayton never played football until high school, and when he finally put on the pads, he wanted to play quarterback. It was when the coaching staff lined him up on defense that he decided to commit to being a lineman and take a shot at playing high level football.
TNIAAM Draft Prediction: Chris Slayton was a monster on the defensive line throughout his Syracuse career. He won’t be a Day 1 or 2 pick, but it would be stunning if Slayton isn’t selected on Day 3. The 49ers met with him at Pro Day and the Titans have also expressed interest. Slayton seems like a solid bet to go somewhere between Rounds 5 and 7.
Some of Slayton’s best moments from the N.C. State game earlier this year.