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2015 NFL Draft: Danny Shelton prospect profile

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We scout Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton. Is he the next Vince Wilfork?

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Vince Wilfork, Haloti Ngata, players with the physical build and quality production those two display are not found each year in the NFL draft. 2015 has a player that reminds me of Wilfork and Ngata in terms of stature, that prospect is Washington Huskies defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Not many players weight over 340 pounds in the NFL who also show tremendous athleticism. Shelton is good, but far from a finished product, and I am skeptical that he is worth such a high pick in the draft.

The Basics:

Height: 6-2
Weight: 339
40 Yard Dash: 5.64
Bench Reps: 34

Pros:
  • Strength: Shelton faces double teams frequently and is still able to clog holes. If a runner is in arms reach of Shelton, it's likely he will be tackled.
  • Pass rushing potential: Recorded 9 sacks in 2014. A great total for a defensive tackle.
  • Wins initial battle: Shelton gets positioning on lineman frequently by being quick off the ball.
  • Run stuffer: Shelton is so big and strong that he's hard to move backwards or laterally. This slows down run plays and many teams ultimately opt to run around Shelton, not at him.
  • Good angles tackling: Shelton is not fast at all, but he makes up for hit by taking good angles to the ball carrier. Sometimes it's better to be smart than fast.
Cons:
  • Gets fatigued: Shelton needs to up his conditioning if he wants to make it as a pro. There are plays where he doesn't produce up to his capabilities, and that's because he's gassed. He can wear defenses out, but they can wear him out as well.
  • Best games were against lesser competition: 6 of Shelton's 9 sacks were in the first two game.
  • Must had more moves to pass rushing arsenal: Right now Shelton uses a bull-rush, and that's about it.
  • Can fail to disengage: Sometimes Shelton can block himself, instead of disengaging from the lineman to make a tackle, Shelton can get into a one on one battle with the lineman. On film Shelton has done this occasionally, leading to sizable chunks of yards he shouldn't have allowed to happen.
  • Lateral quickness needs to improve: Shelton can be a run stuffer, but he can also be ran around. Laterally Shelton doesn't always do a good job of getting to the running back and this leaves for a hefty area of green grass for the running back to at least get to the second level.
Do your homework:

- Watch Shelton against various teams on DraftBreakdown.com and watch him vs. Arizona (featured below)

What They Are Saying

- NFL.com mock drafts have Shelton going in the pick No. 9- through No. 19 range.

- Rob Rang says " Shelton is not a consistent pass rush threat. He's a classic two-gap run-plugger with the bulk and brute strength to bull-rush opponents into the backfield"

- Mike Mayock compares Shelton to Vince Wilfork. "If you have a top-10 pick, the thing you have to ask yourself is will he consistently have an ability, when you go to sub-packages, to push the pocket," Mayock said. "I think he does. I would put him in the category with a Vince Wilfork." Mayock said.

- Check out his stats at cfbstats.com

Conclusion

- To draft Shelton it would mean he's fallen in the draft or the 49ers traded up. If Shelton winds up still on the board at No. 15 I feel the 49ers would strongly consider Shelton, as he may be their BPA at that juncture.

- The 49ers have Glenn Dorsey, Quinton Dial, and Ian Williams in the fold at defensive tackle, the position isn't a need for the 49ers to draft early in 2015. If it was, Shelton would be a more likely selection.

- While Shelton could become Vince Wilfork like, the jury is still out, and the play of Shelton leaves a lot to be desired for a top pick in the draft. I would be much more comfortable drafting Shelton at the tail end of the first.

- To be entirely worthy of a top pick, the film should be stellar. I didn't find Shelton's film to be great. I thought his film was good but I didn't see a relentless competitor on defense, I didn't see anything that wowed me besides his physical stature.

- Trent Baalke has yet to draft a player with the stature and weight that Shelton has, and I would be surprised to see him do it with his first pick in the draft. Better value can be had at the position in round three through five, and I see the 49ers targeting defensive line help then.