After a huge bowl performance that showed off his speed and talent, Darius Slayton has declared for the NFL Draft and will forego his final season on the Plains.
Auburn WR Darius Slayton, a fourth-year junior, declares for the NFL Draft. He’ll go out on a high note: 3 catches for 3 TD in the Music City Bowl. (via his Instagram) pic.twitter.com/WdXN4ScMLC— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) January 3, 2019
Slayton has been one of Auburn’s top receivers over the past two seasons, even though his production took a hit this year with the regression of the Auburn offense. As a freshman in 2016, he caught 15 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown before breaking out last year.
As Auburn won the West, Slayton became the primary deep threat, averaging 22.2 yards per catch and hauling in 5 touchdowns for the Tigers last year. This season, his big plays decreased, but he still grabbed 35 passes for 670 yards and another 5 touchdowns (helped out by his Music City Bowl performance with 3 catches for 160 yards and 3 touchdowns).
He showed that he can outrun just about anybody to get open deep down the field, and the Purdue defense especially sat at a huge mismatch. Slayton’s finest game came at the best time, as Auburn dominated the Boilermakers 63-14.
Now, Slayton enters the Draft as part of a solid, but not elite, wide receiver class. The top prospects (according to CBSSports.com) are:
- A.J. Brown (Ole Miss)
- D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss)
- Kelvin Harmon (NC State)
- Marquise Brown (Oklahoma)
- N’Keal Harry (Arizona State)
- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (Stanford)
Slayton should show off the physical skills in workouts, and should burn the 40-yard dash down pretty well. He’ll have to prove that the drops he had this year were uncharacteristic, but he could improve his draft stock easily. We’ll see how he stacks up in the coming weeks, but best of luck to him as he moves on to the next level.
As far as what this means to Auburn’s wide receiver depth chart, it looks like rising sophomores Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz will be two featured guys next year, with Will Hastings and Eli Stove returning from injury to add to the group. If Auburn can keep George Pickens on board, then his rapport with incoming quarterback Bo Nix could get him on the field. We may also get to see more of Shedrick Jackson and Marquis McClain if they can work into the rotation in the spring.