20201 NFL draft prospects: LSU NT Tyler Shelvin

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Eric Edholm
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Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

LSU NT Tyler Shelvin

6-foot-3, 346 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.72 — starter potential

TL;DR scouting report: A fairly straightforward evaluation, Shelvin is a bull-strong nose tackle or 1-technique who can anchor a run defense but offers little against the pass

Games watched: Florida (2019), Auburn (2019), Alabama (2019), Clemson (2019)

The skinny: A 5-star Rivals recruit (No. 34 overall) in 2017, Shelvin redshirted his first year at LSU before seeing extensive time in five contests in 2018. Shelvin then broke out in 2019, starting all 15 games for the national champion Tigers. Following that season, Shelvin opted out in 2020 and declared for the draft.

Upside: Shockingly nimble and light on his feet for a man of his mass. Dancing bear who is urgent off the snap and will stress some slower interior blockers with his initial step.

Commands double teams. Outstanding strength and leverage in his play. He operates with brute power and rarely loses one-on-one battles when locking horns. Great length to lock out blockers, disengage and discard them. Shelvin put a lot of young men on the ground in 2019.

Appears to enjoy the dirty work, taking on double teams willingly and happy to muck up the middle of a line. Was asked to occupy blockers and let the linebackers clean up the mess and never turned down those chances.

Seeks contact and enjoys grinding his opponents down to the ground. Frustrated some smaller centers with constant pummeling. Good motor — gives effort on backside plays and still churns out reps in lopsided games.

Not a playmaker, but if a ballcarrier is in reach, he usually goes down. Can scrape off blocks to finish off runners inside.

Practiced daily against the Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line in practice that featured multiple NFL prospects. Could be dominant if he could maintain his weight around the 330-pound range.

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 08: LSU Tigers nose tackle Tyler Shelvin (72) during the LSU Tigers 31-0 win over the Southeastern Louisiana Lions on September 08, 2018, at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LSU nose tackle Tyler Shelvin can be a two-down run stuffer at the next level. (Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Downside: Two-down player, plain and simple.

Offers very little as a pass rusher — six total sacks/QB hits/hurries, per PFF, in 316 pass-rush snaps in 2019, and four of those six pressures came vs. Northwestern State and Vanderbilt. Shelvin doesn’t have the advanced rushing arsenal and burst to make much hay in obvious passing situations. Could do better job of getting his hands up and closing down passing lanes.

Conditioning a possible concern. Weighed more than his listed 346 pounds several times and was said to balloon up to the 370s this past season before enlisting the help of a nutritionist and refining his workout plan. Weighed 380 when he arrived at LSU.

Stamina a possible worry — played only three games with 50-plus snaps in 2019 and might be only a 30-35 snap-per-game performer in the NFL. Appeared to fade by the end of LSU’s national title season (15 games) and saw playing time reduced per game down the stretch.

Only one dominant season and limited tape. Still needs some technique cleanup and could use guidance from a veteran DL coach who can polish up his game and teach some of the finer points of the trade.

Best-suited destination: Ideally, Shelvin will land with a team that values size up front and needs to shore up its run defense with a massive nose tackle willing to take on the dirty work.

Did you know: Ed Orgeron was the Tigers’ DL coach when he first started recruiting Shelvin and advised his grandmother to limit the amount of gumbo she serves him — and to cut out the rice completely. “Coach, you're killing me,” Shelvin told Orgeron. “I need more rice.”

Player comp: 2016 fifth-rounder D.J. Reader

Expected draft range: Shelvin could crack the top 100 picks, although the league has trended away from players of his size as the passing game has grown in importance and frequency