2018 Senior Bowl: Nathan Shepherd has breakout day one

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 24: Blake Sims
MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 24: Blake Sims /

The Senior Bowl is an event that can highlight players who otherwise go overlooked. That is the case with Nathan Shepherd, who had a breakthrough day one…

While the Senior Bowl is a great exercise for a variety of reasons, one of the best things about the event as a whole is when a player comes from seemingly nowhere to make a name for himself.

Even for guys from bigger schools, it’s a chance to force scouts, coaches, and executives to go back and turn on the tape to get a better look at you if you can make an impression in Mobile.

After one day, Fort Hays State defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd is one player that is forcing everyone to go back to the tape.

Early on in the North practice, coached by the Denver Broncos, it was easy to see why Shepherd is the first player from Fort Hays State to ever be invited to the event. He was one of the quickest defensive linemen off the ball all day long, and showed off some violent hand usage and ability to finish plays in the backfield.

As I stated earlier, one big thing the Senior Bowl can do is force you to go back and look at the tape.

Shepherd’s tape is impressive.

Checking into the Senior Bowl at just under 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, Shepherd is already the ideal size to play anywhere on the interior defensive line. On his tape, he’s clearly dealing with a lot of double teams but when he is given a one-on-one situation, he absolutely dominates (as was the case day one in Mobile).

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The combination of Shepherd with Broncos defensive line coach Bill Kollar is truly a sight to behold. Kollar is as loud and intense as coaches get, and clearly Shepherd is one who came to play and show out at this event.

I’m excited to see how he follows up his day one performance and how the offensive line deals with him, because clearly they underestimated him in one-on-ones. His combination of quickness, leverage, and strength is a nightmare to have to deal with.

We highlighted the performance of the top two quarterbacks in Mobile on Tuesday, as well as the performance of Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington, so be sure to check back later on for more on how these players are doing as we are on site for coverage.