Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
With the Ninth Overall Pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, The New York Giants select Danny Shelton, the 6'2" 339 pound behemoth from The University of Washington.
Shelton is a highly productive, prototypical Defensive Tackle that possesses freakish strength for his size, despite him being a mountain of a man. At the 2015 NFL Combine, Shelton put up a Combine-best 34 repetitions at the bench press and an impressive 30.5 inch vertical leap for a large, LARGE, individual (he's strong). He was asked to play in a two-gap system at UWashington where he was an Academic All-American, posting on the field numbers of 9 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries, 16 tackles for loss, and 93 tackles. I've always been a proponent of taking productive players over guys that have potential to become something great in the first two rounds of the Draft, and this selection is not going to differ from that strategy.
The NFL, as we know it today, is a passing league; the Quarterbacks are slinging the ball around the yard at rates we have never seen before. Records are dropping, the players are coming out of college more Pro-ready than ever before. So how do you beat it?
Tackle the man with the ball. Sack the Quarterback. Get a few "remember me" shots in on him (Too soon? Oh well!). Shelton gives the Giants a fantastic opportunity to do just that. Line him up as a true Nose Tackle and let him swallow up double teams. Jason Pierre Paul is still on the roster for at least this season, and having one less blocker to deal with him is not the best proposition in my eyes. Opposite him you have Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers, both good players in their own right when their health is up to par. While we all love to dismiss Steve Spagnuolo as a joke down here in New Orleans, he continues to be a good Defensive Line coach. This pick gives Spags another young guy to mold in to what he has the potential to be; Shelton gives them another beast to unleash. He is rock solid in run stuffing as he uses his power and strength to stymie double teams and take down the ball-carrier. Danny Shelton may not be a sexy pick like a Running Back, Wide Receiver, or Cornerback, but the game is won in the trenches. And that's where Danny Shelton eats.
Let's look at some pre-Draft analysis on Shelton:
Bends well for a big man and has ability to play with leverage. Space-eater who is able to maintain good positioning against double teams. Consistently gets his hands inside offensive linemen first. Controls, sees it and sheds to make tackles. Surprising ability to swat cut blocks and chase stretch plays laterally. Played a high percentage of Washington's defensive snaps. Has the strength and athleticism to dominate in the running game.
Despite girth and leverage potential, can be a little inconsistent at getting push off snap. Dominates lesser centers but doesn't seem to look nearly as dominant against more talented centers. Will quit on a play when he's blocked. Produced eye-catching sack numbers for his position in 2014, but much of it was against lesser competition. Must work to keep weight in check.
SOURCES TELL US:
"Shelton is a bully. If you let him walk all over you early in the game, he's going to keep doing it. But watch how he kind of fades into the background when he goes up against guys who stand up to him. I want to see him show up all the time." -- NFC area scout
With his thick frame and powerful upper body, Shelton has moments where he can dominate at the point of attack. He was forced to chase sideline to sideline due to the nature of Pac-12 offenses, but when he faced downhill competition like Stanford, he stepped up. Shelton is an above-average interior pass rusher for a man his size, thanks to his surprising athleticism. He is a fit in a two-gap scheme and could benefit from playing fewer snaps than he was forced to play at Washington. He has an All-Pro ceiling, but must show a greater consistency of effort.
I see Danny Shelton being a very productive player at the next level if he can maintain his playing weight and continue to develop as a pass rusher. His ceiling is very similar to Vince Wilfork's, but his floor is not as high as Wilfork's. I'd feel more comfortable with this pick in the teens if he were to be available, but I think New York gets a motivated, smart, hungry young player at a very critical time in their franchie's history.
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2015 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.
|Pick||Team||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||
QB Jameis Winston - Florida State
|2||Tennessee Titans||DE Leonard Williams - USC||Tee Word||85%|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||DE Dante Fowler - Florida||Khannar||80%|
|4||Oakland Raiders||WR Amari Cooper - Alabama||arcuate||73%|
|5||Washington Redskins||DE Randy Gregory - Nebraska||Lostastic|
|6||NY Jets||OLB Vic Beasley - Clemson||BlackandGold4ever|
|7||Chicago Bears||LB Shane Ray - Missouri||saintmanumit|
|8||Atlanta Falcons||DE Bud Dupree - Kentucky||Dave Choate|
|9||NY Giants||NT Danny Shelton - Washington||GoFastTurnLeftMaybeRight|
|10||St. Louis Rams||Kevin Sean Held|
|11||Minnesota Vikings||gulf shores|
|13||New Orleans Saints||Dave Cariello|
|14||Miami Dolphins||Ralph Malbrough|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||The Irish Assassin|
|17||San Diego Chargers||LeedsSaint|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||jmcmillan_93|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Matt Mosley|
|25||Carolina Panthers||Jake White|
|28||Denver Broncos||Ryne Hancock|
|29||Indianapolis Colts||Alex Lyles|
|30||Green Bay Packers||Matt Mosley|
|31||New Orleans Saints||Dave Cariello|
|32||New England Patriots||Whit Prottsman|