Former North player Slowey on NFL radars

For someone who could have a life-altering moment this weekend, Jason Slowey is remarkably relaxed.

As Slowey sees it, his work is done for now and there is an NFL future out there for him — it's just a matter of where.

After a whirlwind tour that saw the 2007 North Medford High grad complete his senior football season at Western Oregon University, train with an elite group in New Jersey, compete in a collegiate all-star game and then put himself on trial for NFL scouts, the 23-year-old offensive lineman can sit back, confident that he's put his best foot forward.

"It's been pretty exciting, a little different than anything I'm used to doing for sure," Slowey says of the past few months. "I've been a little starstruck sometimes and it still feels kind of weird for myself to be in this position I'm in, especially when you consider where I've come from in high school and college. It hasn't set in yet, it really hasn't."

What has set in for several NFL sources is that Slowey is a name to remember when it comes to potential prospects.

The 6-foot-21/2, 303-pounder spent four seasons anchoring the left tackle position for the Division II Wolves, showing a non-stop motor and an almost nasty approach to keeping defenders at bay. Already with the power (38 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press during his pro day) and agility (4.96 seconds in the 40-yard dash), Slowey pulled it all together when he made a switch to center during his offseason training and dazzled at The Players All-Star Classic this past February in Little Rock, Ark.

With that winning formula, Slowey went from a relatively unknown draft prospect to one that now seems to be viewed as almost every team's "sleeper" pick for a late-round selection.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock gave Slowey that sleeper distinction recently and was quoted in the Philadelphia Daily News saying, "I wouldn't be surprised at all if he made a team."

Tony Pauline of listed Slowey among his 14 unheralded players who are creating a buzz in NFL war rooms, stating that he is "one of the nastiest blockers in the draft" and "only needs a bit of work on his fundamentals before he'll be NFL ready."

Such a list of commentaries on Slowey's potential can go on and on, with team chat sites from the San Francisco 49ers to the Green Bay Packers to the Pittsburgh Steelers — and almost everywhere in between — bandying about his name as someone worthy of bringing into camp.

Even though many of those sights don't actually have all the accurate information on Slowey's pro day — several have him listed as 28 reps on his bench press and 40-yard times as high as 5.20 — he appreciates the buzz about his status in recent weeks.

"What that shows, I think, is just kind of the body of work I've put together since the season ended until now," says Slowey. "All through the process you have to perform, I kind of thought of it as a mini-track season for me. You have a series of track meets and you have to do well in each in order to make it to nationals. From my pro day, to training at the TEST Football Academy and the all-star game, it's just been one step after the other.

"All that (sleeper status) shows is, when it's counted, I've kinda been at my best and been better than people ranked ahead of me just because of what logo's on their helmet on Saturday in college."

A highlight of the process came two weeks ago when the 49ers brought Slowey to their facilities to meet with him and gauge whether he would be a good fit for their program. Slowey likened the process to a recruiting trip for college only with the roles reversed, with the player trying to sell himself to the team rather than the team selling itself on the player. Besides meeting with head coach Jim Harbaugh and members of his staff, Slowey got to chat with quarterback Alex Smith in the weight room and snap a picture or two of the 49er treasures on display.

"I liked it a lot and everyone I met there I really liked their attitude," says Slowey. "There were no real egos at all. Everyone was real friendly and they talk about a lot of blue-collar stuff, which aligns with my beliefs as far as football goes."

Slowey also underwent a three-hour physical with two doctors at two facilities, with the 49ers simply wanting to make sure a shoulder injury he sustained early in his junior season would be no issue — and those results came out perfectly fine.

San Francisco has shown the most interest in him, but there are about 20 teams that have him on their radar.

Interestingly enough, a couple days after his trip to San Francisco, Slowey also received a text from Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh that he had been watching film on Slowey and was impressed by what he was seeing.

Whether it's been to Slowey or his agent, several NFL teams have been making that call. Now, it's just a matter of at least one of them backing it up by making an official call of Slowey's name during the draft.

"I know I can go pretty much anywhere I want with the free agent thing, but I want to be picked," admits Slowey. "Whether it's the sixth round, seventh round, it really doesn't matter. If they pick you, that means they want you and that shows a commitment to you, even if it is a small one."

The only thing with that, however, is Slowey likely will have to be told whether he's been drafted or not because he doesn't plan on sitting around all day Saturday watching the final rounds of the NFL draft.

"It's weird because I do care a lot, obviously, but I don't really care enough to kinda sit there and stress about it in front of my TV," he says. "To be honest I'm probably just going to be doing my regular day, take my dog for a walk in the morning, play some video games, things like that. What's going to make it hard is my friends are going to come over and probably be the ones who are probably a little more into it than I am.

"I'm going to try to make it as normal of a day as possible as long as I can and we'll take it from there, I guess."

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488,, or

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