The editors of all the NFL blogs on the FanSided Network did an amazing mock draft, in which I selected Danny Shelton for the New York Giants. For the full mock draft click the hyperlink. While you’re here let me tell you the impact that Shelton will have for Big Blue.
The Giants priority without a doubt has to be on the defense. The defense was so horrible last season that the league’s seventh ranked offense couldn’t save the Giants from their 6-10 fate. The Giants gave up 30 or more points in six of their ten losses, including two games against the Dallas Cowboys.
Why did the defense struggle? Well the defense couldn’t get off the field. They gave up 4.9 yards per carry, and the pass rush was inconsistent. Opponents were able to stay ahead of schedule, setting up easy third down conversions or many times avoiding third down all together. The Giants defense got pushed around and it is that simple.
Jan 2, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies defensive lineman Danny Shelton (55) against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2015 Cactus Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Oklahoma State defeated Washington 30-22. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Enter Danny Shelton, a 339 pound defensive tackle from the University of Washington. Shelton is a dominating presence in the trenches. Not only is Shelton a big space eater, but he has the quickness and explosion of a great defensive end.
Shelton is a penetrating pain in the neck in the opponent’s backfield. He can blow up rushing plays, he can sack the quarterback and if he doesn’t get there he is skilled at knocking the ball down. Shelton has a versatile skill set that is rare.
Shelton has been compared to both Vince Wilfork and Haloti Ngata. Shelton though may be more explosive than both of those Pro Bowl caliber players. Shelton is that good. He explodes off the snap of the football, he collides with the offensive lineman lined up against him with the power of a wrecking ball and he makes plays in the backfield.
The number one reason to draft Shelton though, is that he will make the defense around him better. He will give his teammates opportunities to flourish. Why will Shelton make the defense so much more effective, you ask?
Shelton cannot be blocked by one man. Offensive linemen will try, and they will fail to contain him. They will have no choice but to double team Shelton. This turns the math into the favor of the Giants. Now instead of 4 defensive linemen against 5 offensive linemen, you essentially have a 4 on 4. This leaves a guy like Jason Pierre-Paul with a one on one match up with a tackle who can’t handle him alone.
So why don’t they double team Pierre-Paul you ask? They have to block inside first, so the 339 pound defensive tackle is their priority. I assure you that if Shelton is drafted by the Giants, there will be no team in the NFL equipped to stop that defensive line. That’s how the Giants won their Super Bowls, that is how they can win another.
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Last season linebackers were fending off blocks like a exterminator fends off insects. The linebackers couldn’t make plays in the backfield because guards were getting to the second level of the defense and rendering them ineffective. Linebackers have to be headhunters on a depraved mission to find the football.
Shelton will allow the middle linebacker to roam the field on his quest for the football. That’s because Shelton will not only take up space but he will take up blockers. With Shelton on the line, the math works in the Giants favor in run defense as well.
Shelton and Jonathan Hankins will dominate up front, and the running back will have to bounce the run outside. Rushers won’t be able to pick up a full head of steam, and will move laterally instead of up the field. Tackles that used to be four or five yards after the line of scrimmage will be made two or three yards behind the line of scrimmage.
The Giants wanted to sign Ndamukong Suh badly. They were unable to do so but Shelton will give them that kind of impact, right away. He may not have the name recognition of Suh but he will make a huge difference, being paid according to the new rookie wage scale. That’s a huge win for the Giants.
The offensive line really should not be addressed with the ninth overall selection. This is for two reasons.
First I don’t have any of the offensive linemen ranked that highly, there is no quick fix to the offensive line in this draft. Secondly if it weren’t for injuries in 2014, the offensive line wouldn’t have been so problematic in the first place. The return of Geoff Schwartz for example is going to make an amazing difference.
The Giants shouldn’t draft a wide receiver with the 9th overall pick because they aren’t desperate for one. Surely they can find a good receiver in the second or third round, just in case Cruz isn’t the same player; but without Cruz the offense didn’t miss a beat last season.
The Giants only option is to fix the defense. The Giants defense has many needs and they must draft the player that makes the most impact on the entire defense. That player is Danny Shelton. With Vic Beasley off the board, I didn’t even blink an eye, I immediately picked Shelton to be the next great Giants’ defensive lineman.
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