The New York Jets have come to terms on a four-year contract with defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd.
In an article written by Josh Alper of NBC Sports, he confirmed through Tom Pelissero of NFL Media that the New York Jets have officially signed defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd to a four-year deal. The third-round pick of the Jets is a versatile defensive lineman that could very well be a hidden gem for the team if everything falls into place as he transitions into the NFL.
At 6’5 and 300lbs., Shepherd is expected to help address the overall lack of pass rush on the Jets defense. It’s an area of opportunity for the team for the past few years now as they were unable to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks or take them down via sacks.
Shepherd has an incredible skill-set that features quick speed off the edge and a knack for being a tackling machine. In his last season at Fort Hays State University, Shepherd totaled 48 tackles, four sacks, and had 12.5 tackles that were for a loss of yards.
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Considering that Shepherd has experience at both the defensive end and defensive tackle positions respectively, it makes sense for the Jets to use him in a rotational role to use his abilities when they are needed most. Shepherd could be used to defend against 3rd and short situations or even in goal-line packages thanks to everything he brings to the table.
Now that Shepherd is signed to a four-year deal, it’s expected he will work his way up the depth chart and into earning playing time through special teams. That’s another area the Jets need help in which further solidifies the team in using him in multiple ways across special teams and defense.
Expect to see Shepherd turn into a household name if everything falls into place since he has the size, abilities, and strong work ethics to turn into a utility player for years to come. Keep an eye on him throughout training camp as he’ll undoubtedly make a name for himself once all is said and done thanks to his versatility.