2021 NFL Draft prospect Tyler Shelvin has a safe floor and an exciting ceiling.
I have a hard time believing that anybody will push Marvin Wilson as the top interior defensive lineman in the 2021 NFL Draft class. That being said, LSU’s Tyler Shelvin shows a rare combination of size, power and quickness at the position and will likely find himself in the first-round conversation next April.
On the surface, Shelvin may seem like an odd fit for the modern NFL. He is a massive man in the middle of the field (LSU lists him at 6-foot-3, 346 pounds and he looks every bit of it) and shows obvious ability as a space-eating run stuffer. Shelvin is basically immovable in the middle of the line and does a great job of anchoring in and dominating his gaps against the run. Opposing offenses should not even think about running inside when Shelvin is on the field.
As great as Shelvin is in that role, big space eaters are not valued highly in today’s NFL. Teams are looking for sleek and athletic interior rushers who can attack a gap and make plays in the backfield. Those kind of players are not usually 346 pounds.
That being said, Shelvin moves incredibly well for a man of his size. He is quick and explosive off of the ball and uses his obvious raw power to create pressure in the middle. Shelvin is never going to put up big sack totals or anything like that, but he is quick and athletic enough to make life difficult on the opposing quarterback. There simply are not many centers who can sink in and anchor against a guy like Shelvin.
When we look ahead to Shelvin as a 2021 NFL Draft prospect, it is easy to see his floor. Pretty much no matter what, this guy is going to be an asset for whoever drafts him against the run. He will be able to plug up the A gaps and make it difficult for teams to run up the middle. However, his impressive mobility for a man of his size gives Shelvin some extra upside in the pass-rush game.
Give me a big and strong man who fires off of the ball quickly and plays with a high motor any day of the week. Tyler Shelvin undoubtedly has first-round upside next April.