Danny Shelton, Markus Golden & other notes

— Danny Shelton (NT, Washington) is 6-2, 339lbs. He also has six sacks in two games, 7.5 TFL’s and 24 total tackles. He’s a classic nose tackle in every sense — short, stout, strong and wide. Watching him on tape, however, I think his stock will be limited. Teams are switching to nickel as their base. I’m not sure whether a player like this warrants a high grade in the modern NFL. Sure, you’d like to plug him in there for rushing downs. Yet to be effective overall he has to be a physical freak too. Louis Nix suffered badly last year because despite his size and production, he just wasn’t unique like Dontari Poe. Shelton is more Nix than Poe. He might be a nice pickup for someone, but probably not as an early pick unless he’s more athletic than he looks.

— One nose tackle who may be a little closer to Poe is Oklahoma’s brilliant Jordan Phillips. Against Tulsa on Saturday he rag-dolled an offensive lineman before scooping up a fumble and running it back 69-yards for a touchdown. The score was called back on a lousy ‘hit out of bounds’ call. He’s 6-6 and 339lbs — length, size and speed. He had some injury issues last year but he’s back to his best and is eligible for the 2015 draft. Keep an eye on this guy.

— We’ve been all over Markus Golden since last season. He’s an explosive, terrific pass rusher and could easily be a first rounder next year. A former JUCO transfer, he was buried behind Michael Sam and Kony Ealy last season. This year he’s already up to three sacks in just two outings and he looks the part. His sack against Toledo at the weekend showed off his long speed — disengaging from a block and accelerating to the QB. Combine that with ideal short-area quickness, great hand use and the grit to translate to the NFL and he has a shot. Don’t underestimate the ‘grit’ part either. So many college pass rushers win by exploiting average linemen with their speed. When they face top tier linemen in the NFL they need more — and they struggle. This is why hand use and attitude is key. You can’t expect to win on the edge every week in the NFL, you need to be able to engage a block and still win 1v1 battles.

— I mentioned on Saturday the impressive effort by Leonard Williams of USC. Despite spraining an ankle in the week and appearing to re-injure himself during warm-ups, Williams played a full game. I’m not sure he’s quite as good as all the top-five talk suggests, mainly due to his position. What is he? I doubt you draft him as a pure edge rusher because he has marginal edge speed. He’s more of a five technique who can play the three on third down. He has good size and length at 6-5 and around 290-300lbs. He had a big sack on the penultimate significant play of the game against Stanford and led the celebrations after. Given all the pre-season hype over his draft stock, he deserves credit for not playing it safe with an injury. The issue could hamper his ability to play at 100% for a few weeks.

— I’m not sure the Seahawks will be in the market for a player like Denzel Perryman (LB, Miami) but he’s just a really fun player to watch. He’s a tackle machine, an enforcer and he’s going to be a steal for someone in next years draft.

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  1. Jeff M.

    There may not be a ton of teams looking for a player like Shelton, but depending on where his stock falls, the Seahawks probably will be in the market for a big-bodied 1-tech somewhere in the draft (as I’m guessing this will be Mebane’s last year). Obviously it’s hard to project team needs this far out, but right now I’m looking at DT as about our biggest need in next year’s draft (maybe 2 players, depending on how Jordan Hill plays this season and whether he looks like an heir to either of Mebane or Williams)–with CB, both DE spots, and OLB also potential targets depending on who stays/goes.

    • Rob Staton

      I agree, right now the defensive line looks like a big need area next year. I think D-end might be the most crucial, given Avril will be a free agent. So will O’Brien Schofield. LEO rusher is a crucial addition next off-season — and it’s one of the reasons I’m keeping a close eye on guys like Markus Golden and Vic Beasley.

    • bigDhawk

      Which is why Phillips is a name to watch, as Rob stated. I mentioned Phillips in the previous thread as one of the players that stood out to me over the weekend. Another one is Oklahoma CB Julian Wilson, who I also profiled previously. With Maxwell an UFA after this year and Simon and Lane having health issues, CB is now a position of concern. Wilson is another name to watch.

  2. Elijah

    The thing about Danny Shelton is that he might not be “athletic” like Dontari Poe. But for his size he is incredibly light-footed and agile, and he plays to the end of whistle. Watch his game tape and you’ll see him flow to the ball, even when it’s a screen pass to the flat. The dude plays football the right way.

    • bigDhawk

      Is he Andru Pulu though? I mean, do we already essentially have Shelton on our PS/GR?

      • CWU Hawk

        Seems silly to compare 2 completely different players strictly based on size. You could name any number of football players and make the same weak comparison

  3. jmpasq

    I think NFL teams willl be scared off about how doughy he is in the middle, he also lacks length . He doesnt have that size loke COdy had . He probably goes in the mid rounds

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