In Round 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd out of FHSU. Here are some early expectations as he prepares for his rookie season in the pros.
When the New York Jets selected defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd in Round 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft, it was initially met with mixed reviews. The majority of Jets fans probably had no idea who he was as he comes from a small school but has the skill-set to hopefully be a utility player for the Jets in the future.
It’s no secret that the pass rush of the Jets has been an area of opportunity for the past few seasons now. They can’t pressure the quarterback consistently and have been in the bottom of stats when it comes to sacks.
Hopefully, with some new faces in the mix, the Jets defense can improve in 2018 and put up some respectable numbers. Shepherd will likely be used in a rotational role, particularly on the edge to utilize his speed and size to have an advantage when he’s going in to take down opposing quarterbacks.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
- NY Jets: 3 non-quarterback trade targets on offense
- NY Jets expected to be ‘much more aggressive’ in free agency this year
- NY Jets: Patriots will not use the franchise tag on Joe Thuney
- NY Jets officially place the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye
At 6’5 and 300lbs., Shepherd can be a force to reckon with if he’s able to make an impact early and often on defense. He’s a productive player and ended his final year at FHSU with 48 tackles, 12.5 that were for a loss of yards, and had four sacks.
If Shepherd can translate such results to the Jets, that right there would be a huge improvement from what Jets fans saw last season. Considering that Shepherd can also play defensive tackle, bodes well for his chances to get some playing time early on once the regular season arrives.
Since the Jets don’t have any dominant pass rushers besides Leonard Williams, expect to see them use various players in different defensive packages to try and find something that works consistently on their defensive line. Shepherd will also likely see time on special teams as he works his way up the depth chart.