BRETT VAN SLOTEN DIDN'T HEAR HIS NAME IN THE NFL DRAFT'S ROUNDS 1-7 BUT HE DID FIND A TEAM AS A FREE AGENT. Say hello to Marshal Yanda.
Brett Van Sloten has signed with the Baltimore Ravens— Darin Svenson (@Darinsvenson) May 10, 2014
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT BRETT VAN SLOTEN? Brett Van Sloten is a typical Iowa offensive linemen: technically sound and unheralded coming out of high school. He didn't play a skill position in high school like Boffeli, but he was an in-state recruit with only one offer: Iowa. He was a two-star recruit according to Rivals that earned all-state honors at Decorah Senior.
WHAT DID HE DO THAT WAS SO GREAT? Van Sloten redshirted his first season on campus and appeared in Iowa's two-deeps along the offensive line as a redshirt freshmen. He got his feet wet in Iowa's season opener in 2010 and played occasionally on special teams. As a sophomore in 2011, he was still number two at right tackle, but he saw his playing time increase as the 2011 season progressed. By 2012 he had become Iowa's starting right tackle, a position he held down for his final two seasons on campus (25 games).
Van Sloten's consistency and skills as a strong run blocker earned him some accolades, too: the media named Van Sloten honorable mention all-Big Ten last year, while the coaches named him to the second team.
HOW ARE HIS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES? Iowa listed him at 6'7" throughout his career but he measured just over 6'5" at Iowa's Pro Day. He may be better suited for guard in the league and his 5.13 40-yard dash Pro Day time will help in zone blocking schemes.
PRO DAY RESULTS:
WHAT ELSE IS THERE? Van Sloten earned Academic all-Big Ten honors all four years at Iowa. He did so while studying management and organization. He was also named to the Hawkeye leadership group all four years
WHAT ABOUT THE BAD? Van Sloten was a steady player. He didn't stand out for overly good or bad play. He may lack quickness against edge rushers at the next level and might be better suited for a spot on the interior. That said, he's also spent most, if not all, of his career playing on the outside of the line, so he may need time to develop as an interior linemen if that's your team's vision for his future.
WAS THIS A GOOD FREE AGENT PICK UP? Last year, Iowa's Matt Tobin quietly signed a free agent contract following the NFL Draft with the Philadelphia Eagles. Tobin made the practice team and eventually was called up to action in the Eagles' final game of the season.
Van Sloten is a better player than Tobin. They both are model offensive linemen coached by Kirk Ferentz, one of the best offensive line coaches in the business. Van Sloten is clearly a smart young man and those smarts transfer over to the football field. He's dependable and durable, too, as evidenced by 25 consecutive starts in a row.
He'll be a very solid practice squad addition to your team, as well as a guy that could work his way into the second unit in time. Like former Hawkeyes Seth Olsen, Matt Tobin and Julian Vandervelde, BVS could potentially have a long career as a back-up or role player.