After playing sparingly in his first two seasons in Baton Rouge, the 6-3, 350-pound mammoth of a man broke out in 2019 during the Tigers’ title run alongside current Bengals Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. Shelvin would start 14/15 games while registering 39 tackles, three tackles for losses and two pass breakups.
However, Shelvin decided to opt out of the 2020 season after being projected by some as a Day 2 pick in 2021. He ultimately slipped into Day 3 before the Bengals snatched him up in the middle of Round 4.
Here’s a look at how the experts viewed his value.
- ESPN’s Todd McShay had Shelvin ranked 116th overall in his final big board (350 players) and ninth among defensive tackles.
- ESPN analyst Mel Kiper did not have Shelvin ranked among his top 150 prospects. The former Tiger was ranked 11th among defensive tackles.
- The Draft Network ranked Shelvin 80th overall.
- NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein gave Shelvin a 6.18 grade (Good backup who could become starter) and a Round 3-4 projection.
- The consensus big board by The Athletic’s Arif Hasan had Shelvin checking in at 106th, so the Bengals got solid value with the 122nd pick.
Moving forward, Shelvin will obviously be a backup behind Bengals nose tackle DJ Reader, and it’s always good to have a nice backup at that position since guys that big can’t play as many snaps each game as guys at other positions.
Though Josh Tupou is still on the roster and plays a similar role to Shelvin, the former is only under contract for one more season, whereas the Bengals have the latter for the next four years if they keep him that long. It’s hard to see the Bengals keeping Tupou and Shelvin, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.