It is very difficult for nose tackles to get recognition for their skill-set due to their role as a support player in the trenches taking on multiple blockers, but Shelton was an exception. In the 2014 season, Shelton’s game clicked and he recorded 16.5 tackles for loss along with 9.0 sacks. Granted 6.0 of his 9.0 sacks came in the first two weeks of the season against Hawaii (2.0) and Eastern Washington (4.0), but he was a consistent force in the run game eating up two blockers and showing surprising pursuit for a 340 lb lineman.
|DOB||1993 (not listed)||Bench (225 lb)||34 reps|
|Weight||339 lbs||Broad Jump||7’11”|
|Arms||32″||20 Yard Shuttle||4.65 sec|
|Hands||10-1/4″||3 Cone Drill||7.99 sec|
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd split)||5.46 sec (1.88 sec)||60 Yard Shuttle||N/A|
|University of Washington (2011-2014)||3x First-team Academic All-PAC-12 (2012,2013,2014)|
|2014 – 93 tackles (16.5 for loss), 9.0 sacks||First team All-PAC-12 (2014)|
|2013 – 59 tackles (3.5 for loss), 2.0 sacks, 3 PD, 2 Blocked Kicks||First Academic All-American (2014)|
|2012 – 45 tackles (4.0 for loss), 0.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Blocked Kick||First-team AP All-American (2014)|
|2011 – 11 tackles, 2 PD|
1. Double Teams
As a nose tackle your main responsibility is to take on double teams by being unstoppable in 1-on-1 situations. In order to do this you need strength, size, and the ability to transfer those effectively by good hand placement on your blocker. Shelton does this perfectly here on this bullrush. Simply put, one man is not enough to block him.
There are plenty of late round nose tackles that can clog the running lanes by having a big body, but a nose tackle that can also show pass rushing ability is an extremely valuable commodity. Casey Hampton in his prime was one of the best at this and helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls. Vince Wilfork for the Patriots is one of the best NTs in the NFL right now. Here are two plays showing Shelton’s large body in action against multiple blockers. He maintains his strength at the point of attack and keeps pushing them into the backfield.
2. Pass Rush
Shelton showed a variety of pass rushing moves that makes him a very intriguing prospect to scout. First, the bullrush is the most basic pass rush move that is used throughout the game. Here are two good examples of his bullrush with the first bullrush being my personal favorite, while the second actually resulted in a sack on the play.
With the bullrush as the most common move, the bulljerk becomes the most underrated move for an interior defensive lineman because it uses the blockers’ weight against him. This can be seen in these two plays. The first in a pass rush to get a QB hurry, and the second in a running situation to get a run stop.
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