In this 2016 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of defensive tackle Sheldon Day out of Notre Dame.
Day, despite putting up big numbers in a big program, continues to be underestimated leading up to the draft. He is small for the position (regardless of what that position on the defensive line that ends up being) at 6’1 and weighing 285 pounds.
Day’s NFL player comparison is another Sheldon, Sheldon Richardson. Richardson is another supposedly smallish player for the defensive line, yet he won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and has been to the Pro Bowl, Day has that same kind of potential.
Nov 7, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Sheldon Day (91) breaks off of the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Notre Dame won 42-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
During his 4 year career at Notre Dame, Day collected only 7.5 sacks, but that could mostly be attributed to his position as a defensive tackle. Day made his second home in opposing backfields ranking 17th among all defensive linemen with 15.5 tackles for losses last season.
The question here is where do you put Day, but the ultimate theory to rely upon is that good players find ways on the football field. Day jumped off the charts at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine and it mirrored what many saw on tape.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
Day can get off the line of scrimmage with tremendous power and explosion.
He plays with a low center of gravity and has tremendous closing speed in the open field and in short distance situations.
Day may not be drafted as a day one starter, but he’ll continue to earn playing time and eventually become a high motor upper echelon sack artist on the inside.
His weaknesses is his shorter wingspan and how he could be bullied due to his lack of ideal size for his position.
The other problem is that he’s a bit of a tweener again, his size will be an issue and if he doesn’t go to the right team, he’ll find it difficult getting time on the field. Day can’t control his size, but what he can control is his effort and his mind set and that should set him apart from the pack.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
Day is slated to go off the board early on day 2 or early on day 3, regardless of where he ends up he will carry a chip on his shoulder and use that to his advantage. His ceiling is the middle of the second round and his floor is no lower than a fourth-round pick.
Regardless of where he is ultimately selected, Day will bring a winning mentality coming from Notre Dame and that’ll only benefit him in the pros. Day has the ability to be a difference maker on the defensive line and difference makers are very hard to find these days.