It's been well over a year since we've seen Tyler Shelvin step onto the field for a competitive football game. And for a guy who a some questions to answer coming into the 2020 season for LSU, opting out immediately seemed to be an eyebrow raiser.
After appearing in just seven games during the 2018 season, Shelvin would appear in all 15 during LSU's run towards a national championship, recording 39 tackles and three tackles for a loss. A traditional nose tackle, Shlevin and his 350-pound size established himself as an elite run defender on the interior, usually chewing up two offensive linemen on a given play.
While his skillset can be used at the NFL level, it's not one that traditionally will be used in all modern defensive packages. That coupled with concerns around his weight have likely left Shelvin a day three draft prospect. But despite the concerns, Shelvin said he's learned a lot about his body and the game in his year away from football.
"When I opted out, I learned about nutrition. I had a game plan, executed it well and I came back in good shape and I was ready to go," Shelvin said. "That goes for the same thing on how to pass rush and explosive. I mean it was a hard process but I executed it well. A few things that I worked on with my pass rush, learning how to get off my steps, reading the center guard tackle and how they set."
Hand: 10 1/4
Arm: 33 5/8
Wingspan: 80 1/4
40-yard dash: 5.40 seconds
Vertical Jump: 28.5 inches
Broad Jump: 8-1
3 Cone Drill: 8.19
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.97
Here's Shelvin's 2021 NFL Draft profile from FanNation's NFL Draft Bible:
Among the most underrated members of the 2019 national champion LSU team, Shelvin was a dominant presence in the middle of the Tigers run defense. With a stout and thick frame, Shelvin is your prototypical nose in an odd-man front showing the ability to hold the point with high success.
He is a 3-4 defensive scheme dream, flashing some big-time ability at a position that usually boasts under-tooled two-gappers up front. Shelvin has some uncommon lateral mobility for his size showing the ability to burst through gaps with some eye-popping movement skills. That begs the question as to whether there is untapped potential for Shelvin as a penetrating presence.
Coming off a season in 2019 with just six quarterback hurries and no sacks, Shelvin currently offers little in terms of pass rush. After opting out of 2020, his impact on third downs is still a huge question mark. He is not able to win many one-on-one opportunities as he is too often getting stuck on blocks with his lack of length and flexibility.
For the majority of his reps, there is nothing flashy about him. He profiles as a two-down run stuffer who can affect the game at a high level against the run.
There are athletic gifts to work with that some defensive coordinators will hope to develop as a penetrator and that element will separate just how dominant of a force he can be. With his combination of power, flash plays and upside, Shelvin stands a good chance to hear his name called some time late on Day 2 of the draft.