KELVIN SHEPPARD, LB, LSU
Triangle Numbers: 6-1, 250,4.7
• Adequate height and bulk with a pretty sturdy build
• Excellent instincts / awareness with top football IQ
• A reliable tackler who will also deliver the big hit
• Excels in pursuit and has sideline-to-sideline range
• Active aggressive and intense with a non-stop motor
• Versatile and capable of playing multiple positions
• Tough, durable and will play through pain / injuries
• A hard worker and great leader on and off the field
• Is also capable of contributing on special teams
• Very productive with lots of high-quality experience
• Average athleticism and agility and is a bit stiff
• Is not real fast or explosive and lacks a burst
• Lacks the fluid hips to turn and run in coverage
• Will often struggle to take on and shed blockers
• Doesn’t flash much power and isn’t real physical
• Might not be able to stay on field for every down
Positives: Has pretty good speed for his size and position… Adequate at reading plays quickly, but can sometimes take extra time and look timid when diagnosing… Very solid production in the last two seasons (226 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions)… Did not record less than seven tackles in any games during senior season… Fairly sure tackler, wraps up well and has the ability to drive through tackles at contact… Vocal leader, fires up his teammates, makes sure everyone is in place before the snap… Has never dealt with any serious injuries, is durable and reliable from week to week.
Negatives: Susceptible to misdirection plays, flows with plays well, but can be fooled by end-arounds and counters… Plays too high at times and leaves his lower body open to cut blocks, needs to play lower and use hands to shield off blockers coming in at his ankles… Can get engulfed at the line of scrimmage, needs to be able to scrape across the field or shoot gaps to avoid blockers and get to the ball carrier… Has never been asked to blitz much, mainly a read-and-react linebacker… Limited upside, does everything fairly well, but doesn’t appear to have a high ceiling in any particular facet of the game
A thickly put together linebacker who does exhibit an explosive element to his game. Possesses a good first step when asked to attack the line of scrimmage, gets up to speed quickly and knows how to make his way into the backfield once he locates the football. Displays a good thrust from his hips as well when asked to wrap up on contact. Can be a physical striker in a phone booth who loves to bring his legs and wrap up inside. However, isn’t the most impressive key and diagnose guy. Fails to consistently read his run keys, fill the proper lanes and make his way toward the action. Takes himself out of a lot of plays and isn’t overly physical when asked to take on blocks inside. Can be easily engulfed and sealed from the football and doesn’t breakdown real well in space either. Plays out of control at times and too often will whiff in the open field.
Now, does display some natural fluidity and range in the pass game. Gets a deep drop in coverage, can be physical off the line and isn’t afraid to play over the slot. Again, seems to play a bit out of control at times, taking a false step trying to jump a route. But, he has the ability to quickly accelerate out of his breaks once he locates the football and isn’t afraid to throw his body around. One of the leaders of the LSU defense and has a real fire and passion for the game.
Impression: Displays some range and natural power, but his lack of great instincts scare me. Has the physical ability to start, but I do question his mental makeup. Nevertheless, should still be able to work his way onto the field as a potential starter at just about any of the linebacker spots.
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLLBy7gef3A[/pro-player]
Kelvin Sheppard is a versatile, productive mid round linebacker prospect. Can play all linebacker positions. Great tackler. Rangy, pursues the ball. Is decent in coverage, although I think he can run with tight ends. I think he would be great on the strongside, the Giants biggest need. You know what you’re going to get. He’s going to compete hard and make plays. As a 4th round pick, I think Sheppard would be a perfect fit for the Giants. He’s fiery, hard working, and can also contribute on special teams