2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tyler Shelvinby James Dudko April 22, 2021 1 comment
Tyler Shelvin will appeal to any NFL team looking for a classic, space-eating nose tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft. Especially if those teams are prepared to wait for a bargain in the later rounds. Concerns about his weight and some inconsistent technique will likely make Shelvin a day three choice. A team willing to let him play to his strengths will land a steal.
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Name: Tyler Shelvin
Position: Nose Tackle
Class: Redshirt Junior
Weight: 346 lbs
Core Strength (5/5)
Few interior defensive linemen in this class can match Shelvin’s core strength. He’s got a thick base, but most of the power comes from his legs. Nobody is moving Shelvin once he gets his hands into the chest of his blocker and plants his feet.
Hands Usage (4/5)
A player of Shelvin’s mammoth frame could get by on bulk alone, but what’s most impressive is how this big fella uses his hands. They’re quick, strong, and aggressive. That aggression is deployed in a coordinated way by a lineman who knows how to put swat, swim, and rip moves together. Those moves are one reason why Shelvin is a force against the run.
Tyler Shelvin is doing this at 6'3/350lbs.
Yeah, I'm intrigued. pic.twitter.com/s4kRkhzxHP
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) April 14, 2021
There isn’t a more important quality a nose tackle can possess than playing with natural leverage. Shelvin is near-flawless in this area. He plays low and excels when getting underneath the arms of a center. The initial push is always strong, particularly on early downs, but Shelvin doesn’t shed and slide off blocks as often as he should.
Lateral Quickness (2/5)
Part of the reason Shelvin doesn’t shed with any consistency is his mediocre lateral quickness. He won’t shift all that weight in a hurry and his feet sometimes let him down. Perhaps the biggest drawback to Shelvin’s game in this area is where he keeps his eyes.
Shelvin struggles to keep his eyes up and read the actions of the offensive linemen in front of him. It can become a major problem when opposing teams use a wham block on the nose tackle. Shelvin won’t always pay attention to the stance of a guard or motion from a tight end or running back moving into position to wham block him.
Being a magnet for double teams will keep linebackers clean, but Shelvin can be guilty of allowing himself to be reach blocked by a guard. That allows one member of the double team to break off and absorb second-level defenders, the very thing Shelvin is supposed to prevent.
Shelvin’s post-snap technique is generally excellent. He brings his hands into play early and quickly after taking a low angle into his blocker and winning the leverage battle. Where he needs to improve is in how he plants his feet. There’s a tendency to plant them too far back from the rest of his body and too wide apart for an even distribution of weight. It means he can sometimes lean too far forward and lose balance, becoming easier to neutralize.
It’s a tad unfair to lament a lack of numbers from a player like Shelvin. A true nose tackle’s primary job is to help those around him become more productive. Even with that being said, Shelvin’s numbers at LSU weren’t overwhelming. He managed 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks during two seasons with the Tigers.
Tyler Shelvin has the worst TFL production I've ever seen from a defensive tackle prospect since 2008.
On top of that, well-below average athleticism. pic.twitter.com/CabI7zj6g9
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) April 12, 2021
A lineman with such an obvious physical advantage at the collegiate level ought to have made a few more splash plays.
Shelvin will be a force at the next level, even in limited duty, provided he keeps his weight down. He got suspended for two games in 2018 for poor conditioning, even reaching 390 lbs at one point. Excess weight means Shelvin tires easily. There’s also a lack of experience for a player who started just 21 games in two years. He opted out of football in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic after helping LSU win a national title a year earlier.
The byline for Shelvin is dominant against the run, but a non-factor against the pass. No surprise there since most nose tackles are two-down players at best. Yet his limited game time could work to Shelvin’s advantage as a rookie. He’ll still be raw enough to simply lean on his core skills and doing what comes naturally. Those skills, being stout against the run, occupying blockers, and letting others make plays translate well to every level of football. Shelvin’s makeup as a run-first defender doesn’t have to hamper his chances in the pros. Lots of defenses mix odd fronts (man over the center) with even alignments and still rely on size in the middle. There are plenty of divisions where stopping the run is the priority.
Final Grade: (24/40): Day Three Pick
Player Comp: Linval Joseph