2018 Cardinals Draft Profile
Name: Nathan Shepherd
Position: Defensive Line
School: Fort Hays State University
Projected: 4th round
2015: Total Tackles – 69, TFL – 5.0, Sacks – 3
2016: Total Tackles – 61, TFL – 9.5, Sacks – 3
2017: Total Tackles – 38, TFL – 12.5, Sacks – 4
*stats courtesy of Fort Hays State University Website
Nathan Shepherd is a senior defensive lineman out of Fort Hays State University. The school competes in Division II within the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Shepherd was named MAIAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. He also was named second team All-America by the Associated Press. Shepherd was invited to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the Reese’s Senior Bowl
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Whether the defense stays in its current 3-4 or switches to a 4-3 scheme, Shepherd has the versatility to play in either. In a 3-4 expect the Fort Hays product to play at the end position, setting the edge on the run and consuming blockers outside on the pass rush. He can kick inside and play at the tackle position in a 4-3 to take on opposing guards and centers. A team can never have too many versatile big bodies on defense.
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Shepherd is a large man at a listed 300 pounds and standing over six feet tall. The defensive lineman holds the point of attack well and gets great push against opposing blockers. Shepherd is agile and quick for his side, often slipping past blockers to make plays in the backfield. He seems to constantly be around the ball and has a high motor.
The biggest knock on Shepherd is the lack of competition he has played against. His physical attributes speak for themselves but he has not had the level of competition to show if he can consistently produce against top talent. He also at times struggles with speedy running backs and quarterbacks in open field.