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Analyzing the Bengals’ selection of mammoth lineman Tyler Shelvin

Mammoth may be an understatement.

SEC Championship - Georgia v LSU Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With the 122nd pick in the NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals went back to the defensive line for Tyler Shelvin.

The defensive tackle from LSU is yet another member of the 2019 National Championship team along with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Thaddeus Moss. After picking Joseph Ossai and Cameron Sample leading up to this pick, the Bengals are solidifying their defensive line.

What Shelvin brings to the Bengals

The first thing you notice about Shelvin is his size. The dude is a mountain.

He is only 6’2”, but is 350 pounds, has 34-inch arms, and almost 11-inch hands.

His size is evident on film. Shelvin plays with a lot of strength, and clearly works hard in the weight room. He is a rock in the middle of the line who is difficult to move. In 2019, he had 39 combined tackles, three for a loss, and had two passes defended.

He had no sacks, which is the result of a problem that caused him to fall to the fourth round. He doesn’t have much of a motor or the agility to play through the whistle. He can block up the middle, but he can’t get to the quarterback very easily.

One other reason he dropped is because he was a one-year wonder as a true sophomore in 2019. He then opted out in 2020, so he only has one year of experience as a starter under his belt.

Why the Bengals picked Shelvin

Again, his size is the most dominant thing about him.

In the fourth round, you are looking for depth, and that’s what Shelvin gives the Bengals. The defensive line was one of the weakest units on the team heading into the offseason this year, and the Bengals have now added five new pieces.

Shelvin will compete with Renell Wren and Josh Tupou for a spot behind D.J. Reader. Wren was a fourth-round pick in 2019, but with injuries has not had much of an impact so far. Shelvin can be competition to motivate Wren or insurance incase Wren never works out.

The Bengals also have a few other defensive tackles they can throw in for third/fourth-and-inches situations, or in goal-to-go stands.

With Geno Atkins out the door, the Bengals have added Larry Ogunjobi to the interior and re-signed Mike Daniels. Shelvin will work his way in the mix, probably playing alongside Daniels to help spell the primary defensive linemen.

The Bengals needed some relief for Reader, and they got it from LSU with Shelvin.