Danny Shelton- NT/DT

Washington.  6-2.1, 339, 

32" Arms, 34 Reps! 7'11" Broad,

(S 1.88), (U 5.66), 30.5" Vert, 

The Best Player On Tape.

By TOM

Danny Shelton reminds me of Ted Washington. I mean that as the ultimate compliment, because I am talking about the Buffalo Bill's Ted Washington. Who was getting 50 to 70 tackles a season, and killing the Pats in the rush right up the gut. He was a monster of a man, and best NT I ever saw play against the Pats. Shelton has elite heavy hands. He has great feet moving inside the tackles, like Wilfork. When he plays with his hands and feet in balance he is unstoppable. Great initial burst which he doesn’t use consistently. He might prove to be more explosive in a 4-3 system where he can burst up field more consistently. He plays in a two-gap system where he has to read first and then react. Which slows him down a little.

He rarely one-gaps, but when he does he is five yard up field as quick as anyone. He lines up as a 5-tech sometimes, and plays it like a DT. He is amazing at clubbing the OLT to get past him and jumping on the RB. I don’t say this lightly, but he was better college DT/NT than Wilfork last season. He is so good with that vicious club, and arm over move against he run. Plus, his production this past season was simply insane:

2014: The first Husky football player to earn Academic All-America first-team honors since 1991 ... the only player in the nation named first-team All-America first-team Academic All-America in 2015 ... earned first-team All-America from USA Today and SB Nation and second-team from Walter Camp and CBS Sports ... named a Midseason All-America by ESPN, NFL.com and The Sporting News ... also made Phil Steele's Midseason All-America second team ... led the nation (by himself) in fumble recoveries, with five ... also ranks No. 14 in tackles for loss with 16.5 and No. 19 in sacks with 9.0 ... started all 13 games at nose tackle ... named a first-team preseason All-America by The Sporting News ... also named third-team preseason All-America by Athlon ... also named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award (top defensive player) ... finished the season ranked No. 23 in the nation in sacks and second on the team with 93 total tackles.

I just love how he stacks up the OC. Then turns, sheds him, and runs to the ball. He had a great sack to end Oregon's first drive. He powered Grasu back, and when Kikaha flushed Mariota he tossed Grasu aside and crushed Mariota. When he clubs the OC and swims over him he hits the QB hard and fast. When he slants to the left he drives the OC back three yard before he slows at all. He gets knocked back on run plays a lot, especially early in games. Because he plays in a read and react system. He gets his hands on the OC, and reads the play. So he can be driven back, especially by the double team. But what makes his Tape the best of any player in this years Draft is his ability to then toss the OC, or the OG, or both aside and get to the RB. He doesn't just hold the point. He consistently sheds the blockers and attacks the RB.

He hit Mariota for the third times, by clubbing Grasu back a yard and cutting inside to hit him as he threw. His power to shove and club off the OC is amazing, and Grasu is an all American candidate. When he slants to the left, you do not want to be the RB trying to bounce it outside to that side. There are not a lot of nose tackles who are leading their teams in tackles (with 49 at the Oregon game), and tackles for loss (9.5 TFL at the time) and sacks (7 Sacks coming into the Oregon game). He also had a half Sack on Mariota in the 1st quarter, and hit him three other times. He is such a freak this year it is hard to quantify. He is the best run stuffer in this Draft, and the best passrushing nose tackle in this Draft, and maybe the best passrushing D-tackle in this Draft.

As Oregon went nuts with tempo, he actually looked tired for the first, and maybe only time this season season. But then he drew a big Hold from Grasu, which really hurt Oregon and slowed things down. It was a huge play in the game. Then a TFL made it 2nd and 21. His ability to get out to the sideline to tackle the RB on a sweep is inhuman. His ability to get outside the OLT and tackle the RB on a toss is inhuman. His ability to grab the OC or OG's shirt with one hand and push-pull him to the ground is inhuman. He almost had an INT against Oregon on a center screen. He can look like he can do anything he wants on the field more often than not.

On the big 4th down play that Arizona State faked the pooch punt, he lined up at 5-Tech, clubbed the OLT aside, and found a straight line to the QB. He looks like a bigger Vince at Nose Tackle sometimes. He can destroy everything on goal line runs. His ability to power past OGs is just fun to watch. On 4th and goal on the One, he powered the OG back and hit Foster, who was tying to jump over the pile, in mid air and knocked him down. He is so strong inside it is scary.

Impressive fumble recovery against Stanford. He continued to get double and tripled on almost every play. He shifts into the DT in even fronts. Gets a nice push on the OC right off the snap. He has really improved at shoving the OC and OG up, and then shrugging them off with great force and then leaping on top of the RB. And by them I do mean he shoves off two O-linemen at the same time sometimes. He is impossibly tough at the POA. When they put him in at DT and the offense can't double him, he destroys the OG and gets up field and find the ball. 

He not only disrupts the play, but he also has that unique ability to find the ball in the backfield. He will be a top ten pick. Great heavy hands. He stunted to the left at the NT position, he popped into the ORG with two hands and knocked him 3-Yards back. Unfortunately the ORT was there on the double or he would have killed the QB. His blast off the snap on passing downs is worlds better than 2013. If you haven't watched him play this year you have to look him up. Stands up to rush up the middle sometimes. His ability to twist and torque O-linemen to the ground three or four times a game is startling.

Senior Bowl Notes:

I hated the Senior Bowl, because I was trying to figure out a way that Shelton could fall all the way down to the Pats, like Wilfork did over a decade ago. However, as all the so called experts visited my site the word got out. He was considered the best player at the Senior Bowl. I had him in the top five after the first month of the season. I kept dropping him. Not because of his great play, but no one else was championing his flag, and if I dropped him maybe he would make it to the Pats at 32? But no such luck. He is a top five impact player and I would have trouble taking Leonard Williams over him.  That is how talented this guy is. He was the one guy the South team consistently doubled at SB.

Additional Game Notes:

He stays on the field. He is a 350-pound guy who never comes off the field, even when he is running sideline to sideline. I don't even know how to quantify that. The Stanford game was his 30th straight start. Even when he gets stuck on a block, he still seems to make a tackle. He was stoned by the center as the QB went outside, then the QB threw a shuffle pass and the RB ran right at him. He clubbed off the OC and dived and scooped up a shoestring. It was uncanny. I think it was the first time he was blocked out of the play all game, and he still shed the OC with NFL violence in his hands and made the tackle.

He is such a force against the run. He puts up such fancy-dancy splash plays in the first few games that it is easy to forget that he is such a force against the run. He was still leading the nation in Sacks coming into the Stanford game in week five. He reminds me so much of Wilfork at Miami. He is not as wide and square as Wilfork, but he is much better moving up field this season. He is so strong it looks like he is lifting up the OC sometimes. He can work down the line holding off the OG, and then shove him off into the RB and knock them both down with a not human blend of strength, coordination, and agility. 

He is such a great power rusher inside. His shoulder club is a weapon. It is amazing how he gets blocked so well that you look away. Then he shoves off the blocker and get in on the tackle down field or out on the sidelines. In one on one rushes against the OC, you can see the OC's shoulders shoot backwards with every punch. He has the heaviest hands in college football. I absolutely love how he jams O-linemen into the RB as he moves laterally down the line. He has a surprisingly nice burst right off the snap to get to the QB. It is quick and short. But I swear I saw some suddenness in his shoulders in one burst up field in the rush, which is just not possible for a 340-pound nose tackle, right?

The very first play of the Stanford game was such a Shelton play. He lined up between the OC and the OLG. He quickly got grabbed by the OC, as he advanced up field to the blindside. The FB than rammed into him, bounced off, and fell down. While he was still being blocked by the OC. The RB cut to the strongside side, which left him on the wrong side of the OC. So he just shoves off the OC and runs around him. He leaped at the RB and grab a shoestring to just bring him down on the strongside. Unbelievable size, strength, and instincts. He has to move back up in my ratings. He was still leading the nation in Sacks before the Stanford game, and was leading Washington in tackles. When have you ever seen that before? Stanford, who runs inside as well as any team in FBS, ran outside all game. They doubled him in the middle, even when they weren't running.

Shelton Vs Georgia Southern:

He gets pushed back by the double, which is not unusual in the beginning of games for him. But watch how he stays in front of the RB. Then the short punch to knock the OG off his body, and he grabs the RB and spins him down. He is the best pure nose tackle I have seen on Tape in a long time (:01). He comes off the snap with his hands up. He reads the run. Watch the short punch into the OC that sends him helplessly backwards and off his block. No one has a better short punch than Shelton in this Draft (:14). Then watch the quick feet and agility as he turns and dives at the RB, and just grabs his shoestring to trip him up. He has better tape than Wilfork did at Miami. And you know I can’t give a better compliment than that to a NT/DT.

This is what makes him elite. The old push-pull. He gets his hands on the OC, and pushes, ignoring the OG. He reads the play, and then pulls the OC so violently that he tosses him to the ground like a puppy with wobbly legs. Then he pounces like a hippo in a pond onto the RB (:25). And before you can say so what it is Georgia State, he was doing that against Stanford, UCLA, and Oregon as well. I have never seen anyone who could torque a blocker to the side with such hand violence as Shelton before. He plays with more power in his hands than Haloti Ngata. He wears out O-linemen, rather than the other way around.

He gets caught in a hand fight with the OC, and slants to the wrong side. But watch the power in his hands as he drags the OC up and down. It really is incredible how much he shakes that guy up and down with just his hands. Then he moves back into position and makes the tackle again (:33). Oh-oh Goal line. This should be fun. He absorbs the double team block and grabs the QB short of the 1st (:41). Then he falls back a little and dives forward. Even though he didn’t stop him, I love that play.

He absorbs the double, and keeps the ORG on his outside shoulder as he reads the play. Then when the OC slides off to the hit linebacker, he moves right into the hole and crushes the RB (1:08). Watch him explode through the gap, and gets up field like a 3-Tech as the OG pulls. He shots into the backfield like a charging rhino and takes out the RB. You have to account for him on every play (1:18). He was not in a read and react call. He was allowed to burst up field like a 3-Tech. A 4-3 DC or Hybrid coordinator has to look at this play and drool. He not only is the best two-gapper in the Draft. He has also has the springs to burst up field and get to the QB or RB deep in the backfield (1:31). Watch him explode into the OG as he turns to pull. But you can see Shelton has his head up and is reading the QB. He rips through the TE on the wham block like he is a falling leaf, and takes out the RB. He had 16.5 TFL last season.

Watch this nice initial burst outside. Then he is curling to the QB. He misplays the pulling guard coming over in pass pro, but watch how light he is on his feet. The OG can’t even touch him. He crosses in front of his face twice, and Shelton slaps his hands off harmlessly and doesn’t slow down a bit (1:38). But he should have powered through him for the Sack. He doesn’t always have the best instinct in the rush. But he can get up field and hit the QB when he is allowed too. But he is first and foremost a a great run stuffing nose tackle. But like Ted Washington, he has much better heat up field than anyone can expect from a guy his size.

He does this so consistently it should be on his license plate. He holds up the double at the point. Keeping each blocker on a shoulder. Than once one of them slides off to hit a linebacker, he burst into the hole and hits the RB (2:03). Nice. Here he is at 5-Tech, playing more like a DT. He also does this with amazing consistency (2:11). He absorbs the hit by the OG with his hands. Reads the play. Then throws the blocker to the ground and makes the tackle. He has the best hands of any D-Linemen in this Draft. And that includes Leonard Williams.

He punches the OC with his left hand and turns him the wrong way. He sees the RB go to the other side, and he punches him with his right hand. Crosses his face, and tackles the RB. You cannot play a Dive better than that (2:22). Watch the power in his hands as he pushes the OG up, and then power pulls him down to the ground (2:31). But what is so amazing is the cat like quickness bursting into the RB afterwards. Guys with his size just can’t have such agility, quickness, and nimble feet. Like all athletics, it all starts with the feet.

Stack and shed and he almost falls for it. But watch the QB bail behind he OC once he sees Shelton has the OC's outside shoulder. Then amazingly Shelton uses his elite feet and agility again. He spins off the wrong side of the OC, swings around him, and swoops in and crushes the QB. How do you not love this guy (2:50). Watch the power as he stunts outside and slams into a couple of linemen. He knocks the gang back a few yards (3:01). But he is special. So the play is not over. He out hustles O-linemen all game long. Watch him redirect as the QB bails. He swoops around another O-linemen and hits the QB on the 1-yard line (3:20). No one else in this Draft makes that play. In fact, I don’t anyone in the past two or three Draft could consistently make that play. That was just amazing. Heart, hustle, power, and smarts all wrapped around impossibility nifty feet and agility.

He doesn't have the best instincts against the rush, but that doesn’t mean he can't rush. He goes right up field, through the double team, and almost slaps the ball out of the QB's hands (3:32). The power and agility to power up field, and then is able to disengage, turn and attack the ball (3:43). Incredible. He is all heart and hustle. This is the 4th quarter of a near meaningless game (3:54). He scoots past the OC, and takes the ORG on his shoulder as he bursts into the backfield. The ORG grabs is shirt, as the RB scoots outside. Shelton pushes and pushes, and finally extends his arms to get the ORG off his shirt. But the RB is 10-yards outside of him sprinting up field. And if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't believe it. He goes and gets him. If you haven’t seen his tape than shame on you, because he consistently does the impossible on Tape.

Danny Shelton Vs Georgia Southern-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5YgAjDstlg

#

Shelton's Official Bio:

2014 First-Team All-America (USA Today, SB Nation)
2014 Second-Team All-America (Walter Camp, CBS Sports)
2014 CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team
2014 All-Pac-12 First Team
2014 Academic All-Pac-12 First Team

2014: The first Husky football player to earn Academic All-America first-team honors since 1991 ... the only player in the nation named first-team All-America first-team Academic All-America in 2015 ... earned first-team All-America from USA Today and SB Nation and second-team from Walter Camp and CBS Sports ... named a Midseason All-America by ESPN, NFL.com and The Sporting News ... also made Phil Steele's Midseason All-America second team ... led the nation (by himself) in fumble recoveries, with five ... also ranks No. 14 in tackles for loss with 16.5 and No. 19 in sacks with 9.0 ... started all 13 games at nose tackle ... named a first-team preseason All-America by The Sporting News ... also named third-team preseason All-America by Athlon ... also named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award (top defensive player) ... led all players with 12 tackles in the season-opening win at Hawai'i ... also had three tackles for loss with two sacks in that game ... another huge game vs. EWU, when he once again had 12 tackles, with four-and-a-half tackles for loss and four sacks ... four sacks were the most by a UW player in a single game since 1989 ... named the team's defensive player of the game vs. EWU ... three tackles in the win over lllinois ... career-high 13 tackles (his third double-digit tackles tally in four games), two tackles for loss and one sack vs. Georgia State ... had seven tackles, half of a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery vs. Stanford, when he served as a game captain ... made three tackles and also recovered two fumbles, in the win at California ... eight tackles, two and a half of them for a loss, at Oregon ... eight tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, vs. Arizona State, when he was a team captain ... five tackles and a fumble recovery in the win at Colorado ... was a game captain vs. UCLA, when he had three tackles, one for a loss ... had a terrific game at Arizona, leading the UW with nine total tackles, including two and a half for loss and a sack ... three tackles vs. Oregon State, when he served as a game captain ... four tackles, including half a sack, in the Apple Cup win at Washington State ... four tackles and a fumble recovery vs. Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl, when he served as a team captain ... finished the season ranked No. 23 in the nation in sacks and second on the team with 93 total tackles.

2013: Earned first-team Academic All-Pac-12 ... also named honorable mention All-Pac-12 ... started every game ... three tackles in the opener vs. Boise State ... five stops in the win at Illinois ... three tackles, including a sack, in the win over Idaho State ... six tackles in the win over Arizona ... four tackles at Stanford ... two stops vs. Oregon ... four solo stops at Arizona State ... three tackles, all solo, in the win over California ... six tackles, including half of a sack, in the win over Colorado ... double-digit tackles for the second time in his career with 10 (including one TFL) at UCLA ... two tackles, including half of a sack, in the win at Oregon State ... posted four tackles in the Apple Cup win over Washington State ... seven tackles, including six solo stops, in Washington's Fight Hunger Bowl win over BYU.

2012:
Started at nose tackle in every game ... named to the Pac-12's All-Academic first team ... also honored with the Academic Achievement Award at the team's postseason banquet ... earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 ... two tackles vs. San Diego State ... notched a career-high 10 tackles at No. 3 LSU, most by a UW defensive lineman since 2008 ... three tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, in win over No. 8 Stanford ... three tackles, including two tackles for loss, vs. No. 11 USC ... two stops at Arizona ... five stops and a fumble recovery in the win at California ... started at end in the win over Utah, finishing with six tackles, including one for a loss ... one tackle in the win at Colorado ... five tackles, including half a sack, at Washington State ... four tackles in the MAACO Bowl vs. Boise State.

2011: Played in all 13 games as a true freshman, earning a start at defensive tackle in the Washington State game ... season-high five tackles vs. Baylor in the Alamo Bowl ... had three tackles at USC ... had a fumble recovery at Oregon State, when he also batted down two passes ... one tackle each vs. Cal, Stanford and WSU.


Danny Shelton's Career Statistics

TACKLES

g

ua

a

total

tfl

pd

ff

fr

blk

qbh

2011

13

2

9

11

0.0

2

0

1

0

0

2012

13

20

25

45

4.0

0

0

1

1

2

2013

13

36

23

59

3.5

3

0

0

2

0

2014

14

53

40

93

16.5

0

0

5

0

3

TOTAL

53

111

97

208

24.0

5

0

7

3

5

 

SACKS

g

ua

a

total

yards

2011

13

0

0

0.0

0

2012

13

0

1

0.5

1

2013

13

1

2

2.0

11

2014

14

8

2

9.0

33

TOTAL

53

9

5

11.5

45


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