The Cincinnati Bengals had some really big issues trying to stop the run in 2020. One of the biggest issues was injuries after DJ Reader went down early in the year and Geno Atkins played through an injury all year.
The Bengals tried to help fix that with one of their fourth-round picks being used to select LSU’s big defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin. He weighed into rookie minicamp at 350 pounds, but it appears he is moving very well for his size. Fellow rookies have been taking notice.
“He’s a big dude. He’s a big dude,” The Bengals’ third round pick Joseph Ossai told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I was working out there with him and he can move pretty well. I’m very impressed with that. That he’s that big, that massive and can move like that.”
The Shelvin selection got plenty of attention from fans. Some were frustrated that Cincinnati picked a player that was viewed as simply a run stopper while there were other interior pass rushing options left. It’s just hard to ignore how badly the Bengals got abused inside by teams running against them last year. They needed to add another big body to rotate in to help eat up double teams and keep the edge players and linebackers from getting swallowed up.
There is also a decent chance that Shelvin can provide enough as a pass rusher that he isn’t simply used on running downs. You may not see him in the pass rushing package, but if he can push a guard and center back on second down that will male it easier of guys on the edge to get to the quarterback.
Another rookie who was really pleased with the selection was the Bengals first pick in the 2021 draft, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
“Big T is my guy,” Chase told Hobson. “T is a very aggressive player. He’s one of those players who can always get double teamed and he’ll still beat the double team. That’s what he did at LSU and you can see it on the film.”
It will be interesting to see how much this pick pays off early for the Bengals and how well Shelvin will develop into his role and beyond. As it stands he is a big player set to fill a big need in the defensive line.