2015 NFL Draft Profile: Danny Shelton, DT Washington


Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton is a big man.  Although he’s not as tall as many of the other defensive tackles in the 2015 NFL Draft, he has the mass and power that should help just about any team in the NFL.  At 339 pounds, he can clog the middle and disrupt things in a way that smaller players just can’t.

Even when double teamed by offensive linemen, Danny Shelton seems to find a way to split them or at least hold his own against them.  It’s that kind of attention that can help other players on defense be more effective and force offenses to try to be creative in protection strategies.  When used properly, Shelton could be a game changer.

There are some knocks on Danny Shelton.  For example, when overwhelmed or beat early, he does have a tendency to pull back a little and not give his full effort.  Plus NFL.com says that he is often late off the snap, which is something I didn’t notice a lot of when watching tape on him.

A solid combine helped Danny Shelton to stay one of the top players in this draft class.  With that, he should almost assuredly be a top 15 pick at the 2015 NFL Draft.

Jan 2, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies defensive lineman Danny Shelton (55) reacts as he taunts Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver David Glidden (13) in the 2015 Cactus Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Oklahoma State defeated Washington 30-22. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Combine Measurables:

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 339 pounds
  • Arm Length: 32″
  • Hand Size: 10.25″
  • 40 Yard Dash: 5.64 seconds
  • Bench Press: 34 reps
  • Vertical Jump: 30.5″
  • Broad Jump: 95″
  • 3 Cone Drill: 7.99 seconds
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.65 seconds

Draft Projection

CBS Sports currently has Danny Shelton as their #7 overall prospect and their #2 defensive tackle (behind #1 overall prospect Leonard Williams).  He should be an early first round pick at the 2015 NFL Draft.

NFL Player Comparison

Both NFL.com and CBS Sports have him compared to New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork.

Fit For The Vikings

Minnesota may look to upgrade on last year’s free agent acquisition Linval Joseph, but it’s more than likely that the Vikings won’t see a run stuffing DT as the biggest need entering the 2015 NFL Draft.

My Take

Clogging up the middle of the field and disrupting opposing offenses is very important, but Linval Joseph deserves more time to show that he can handle the middle.  Danny Shelton could remind a lot of people of former Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams, but the odds of him joining Minnesota’s defensive line is pretty slim.

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