Fort Hays State DL Nathan Shepherd produced a composite score in the 65th percentile during the NFL Scouting Combine.
Shepherd (6’3/315) ranked well behind Tavan Bryan and James Looney in his testing, but those two put up ridiculous scores that both ranked above the 90th percentile. It was a perfectly adequate showing from one of the best FCS prospects in the class. The only concern analysts seem to have is that he may need a “redshirt” year in the NFL, and teams may not want to invest a high pick in an unfinished product. He still likely goes early on Day 3, and possibly on Day 2.
Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd ran the 40-yard dash in 5.09 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Shepherd (6’3/315) turned in serviceable marks — including a 31-inch vertical jump and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.52 seconds — though perhaps not quite as sharp as was being prognosticated. Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, for one, believed that the Fort Hays State stud was a potential riser through the combine heading into this weekend. A likely Day 3 selection for April, Shepherd should be considered a work-in-progress, rather than a finished product (or even a close to finished product). He may well need a year learning off the bench before he’s ready to contribute in the NFL.
Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd said that he had a formal meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday.
Shepherd (6’3/315) passed along that his meeting with the Chiefs went well. It’s not the first time that Kansas City has been in touch with him during the evaluating process. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports views Shepherd as a player who could be in for a rise if he performs well in his athletic testing later this weekend. He could potentially crash the Day 2 party with a strong performance
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson singled out Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd as a prospect who could rise following the NFL Combine.
This warms our heart, as our own Josh Norris has brought up Shepherd’s name since before the Senior Bowl, an event that he performed well in until a hand injury knocked him out of practice. Shepherd arrived over 300-pounds (310 to be exact) and presents movement and power in his hands to disrupt as an interior rusher. Shepherd is a DII prospect, so his ceiling likely is the second day.
While ranking Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd among the best non-FBS prospects in the 2018 draft class, NFLDraftScout write that he might require a “redshirt year.”
That’s concerning, because as they point out, Shepherd will turn 25 next year, so this is not one of the younger prospects or anything close. Still, he’s very intriguing, and he really stood out working against the quality guards of the Senior Bowl. “He stood out immediately at the Senior Bowl with his nimble lower body and powerful upper body before breaking his hand during the second practice,” they write. “Shepherd might require a “redshirt” NFL season, which isn’t ideal for a player who turns 25 years old as a rookie, but his exciting traits are promising for a patient coaching staff.”
In an interview with 49ers senior report Joe Fann, NFL Draft Scout’s Dane Brugler named Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd as one of six players who are on the rise.
Shepherd comes in third on Brugler’s list, ranking just behind the dynamic guard combination of Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn and UTEP’s Will Hernandez. “He intrigued me when I watched his tape back in November, but against Division II competition, you’re always kind of skeptical,” Brugler says. “He came to Mobile, and he dominated. Unfortunately he broke his hand midway through the second practice, but in his reps, he was outstanding.” It’s going to be fascinating to see over the coming months just how much Shepherd has improved his stock. It sounds like there’s an awful lot of helium here.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. listed Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd (hand) as one of the under-the-radar prospect that impressed most at Senior Bowl practices.
“This kid belongs,” Kiper says in his report. “He constantly gets into the backfield. He can play end in a 3-4 defense or tackle in a 4-3. I was very impressed and need to take a closer look at his game tape.” Shepherd broke his hand on Wednesday and won’t be able to play in the game. Fortunately for the 6-foot-4, 310-pound defender, the practices should be enough to seriously improve his draft stock. We’ll be interested to see just how much that stock improves over the next few months.
Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd will miss the Senior Bowl after breaking his hand on Wednesday.
It’s a shame, as Shepherd was one of the event’s early stars, drawing raves from onlookers at practice. If there’s any good news to be had, it’s that the injury won’t require surgery. Shepherd is expected to heal in the next 2-3 weeks. That would leave him with a little time to spare to prepare for the NFL Combine.
Rotoworld’s Josh Norris named Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd as the under-the-radar defensive lineman to watch during Senior Bowl week and the draft process as a whole.
Fort Hays State is a Division-II program, but Shepherd has a big-time game. Shepherd checked in at 310 pounds at the Senior Bowl and let out a roar when walking off the stage. At practice he outclassed big school offensive lineman, occupying multiple blockers and resetting the line of scrimmage. Again, remember his name as the week goes along.
Fort Hays State senior DT Nathan Shepherd accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Shepherd (6’5/300) was named the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) Defensive Player of the Year for his work with the Division II Tigers this season. He recorded 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and a quartet of sacks on the year. Shepherd has thrice been named first-team MIAA during his career with the Fort Hays State.
A native of Ontario, Canada, Shepherd was a 205-pound linebacker in high school before attending Simon Fraser University. Over the next couple of years, he continued to grow, eventually playing in nine games as a redshirt freshman for the Clan in 2012 (20 tackles, seven for loss, 2.5 sacks). Eventually, he made his way to Kansas to play for the Tigers after an FHSU coach saw his highlight tape. In 2015, Shepherd was a third-team All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association selection after starting all 12 games (69 tackles, five for loss, three sacks, two blocked kicks). He was a second-team all-conference pick the next season, posting 61 tackles, 9.5 for loss, three sacks, and two forced fumbles. Shepherd ended his career with a second-team Associated Press Division II All-American senior campaign, also earning the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year award. He compiled just 38 stops om 2017, but 12.5 of those stops went for losses, including four sacks.
Looks the part in the pads. Has added almost 100 pounds to his frame since high school and he still has room for strength gains. Has tapered frame with good length. Self-aware. Diagnoses and works on his weaknesses. Plus athlete with flexible hips and good lateral quickness. His physical traits and athletic ability will be considered moldable clay by NFL evaluators and coaches. Flashes a big-time hand slap and hip flip to hurl himself around a blocker’s edge as a rusher. Athletic when pursuing in space.
Still very raw and has yet to get even a taste of the level of competition headed his way. His first couple of seasons could be redshirt years. Needs to develop a much better feel for blocking schemes. Allows down blocks to get too far into him. Tries to fight off double teams with force over technique. Hands need development to help unleash his potential at the point of attack. Unable to dominate his opposition as often as expected. Gets glued to blocks. Needs to play with more edge on the field.
Shepherd is a project, but he could be well worth a team’s time thanks to his NFL-caliber traits and his flashes as a pass rusher. Shepherd lined up inside in college, but may be better suited as a 4i or five-technique in a 3-4 front. While he won’t be ready early on, he has the ability to become a productive NFL defensive lineman with improved strength and better technique work.