Danny Shelton   DT   Washington

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Danny is a big, powerful defensive tackle who never seems to give up on a play until the whistle is blown. He has excellent size to play the nose guard position in a 3-4 defense and shows surprising athleticism to play defensive tackle position in a 4-3 defense as well. Danny shows leadership skills through his play on the field and looks to be the type of player you can build a defense around. He shows on film the quick feet a defensive lineman needs to change directions when rushing the passer and the strength in his lower body to push the pocket and disrupt the passing rhythm of an opposing quarterback. Danny is a natural nose guard who can control the offensive line from tackle to tackle and stuff the run. He has excellent quickness and if you make a mistake when blocking him, he has the upper and lower body quickness to make you pay. He will be in the backfield fast in order to make an impact play. Danny is relentless and this relentless work ethic will serve him well at the next level for the team that selects him.

CONCERNS
Danny needs to improve his hand strength for the next level. Heís big enough, but uses his weight more than his hands to defeat his opponent and make plays in the backfield. He struggles to hold his gap against double teams and is too worried about making a tackle or a sack rather than holding his gap and making others around him better. In his defense, Danny knows he wonít get noticed by NFL scouts if he doesnít make tackles in the backfield or sacks so thatís what he has to do and has done it well at the college level.

BOTTOM LINE
Danny has remarkable quickness for his size. He doesnít explode off the line, but his quickness after he is engaged with an offensive lineman is impressive. He has to get stronger hands to control and shed his opponent without using his weight because when he uses his weight, he throws himself off balance. When he loses balance, he can be easily blocked and gives up gap control. For a player the size that Danny is, losing gap control will make him lose his job. The first priority for defensive tackles and nose guards should be gap control to stop the run and then push the pocket. Danny has the agility and quickness to do more than that, but he must increase his hand strength and use better hand techniques to keep opponents off his body instead of using his weight and allowing offensive linemen into his body to tie him up and not allow him to control them instead. Weight is a great factor at the college level and has helped him to defeat a lot of linemen, but weight alone will not work at the next level. Until Danny learns that, he will only be average and not as impacting as he has been at the college level. I donít think there will be any problems in Danny learning to become a dominant player at the NFL level for the team that selects him. His effort and physical stamina is excellent on every play. Danny requires blocking attention on every down by more than one offensive lineman and that makes the players around better. That also makes him worth his weight in gold and Danny weighs a lot.

Drew Boylhart
DEC/2014