At this point, should the Chargers sign Danny Shelton?
Not only does the team need an upgrade and improvement in the run defense department but at this point the Chargers only have two defensive tackles on the roster. First is soon to be second year man Justin Jones and recently resigned 34 year old Brandon Mebane. This shouldn’t be that much of a concern just yet seeing as how this year’s draft is loaded with defensive line talent. It is my belief that the team will take a defensive tackle somewhere in the first two rounds. They should even double dip at pick a defensive tackle twice. Preferably one really early and then another somewhere in the mid-late rounds that can use a little more seasoning and time to develop. Even if they do decide to draft two rookies at the position Gus Bradley had 5 tackles on the roster last year and usually likes to have a constant rotation at the position.
With free agency more than halfway over and most talent already signing elsewhere, a few options still remain at defensive tackle. Suh is too expensive at this point, Timmy Jernigan is a big question mark with his back issues, and then there is Danny Shelton. The former first round pick and recent super bowl winner is still just 26. During his tenor with the New England Patriots this past season he wasn’t utilized very much. In fact he only played on 344 total snaps during the season. 149 of which were run defense and another 194 on pass coverage plays. Shelton’s run defense proved to be more efficient with a 79.8 defensive grade compared to his 63.3 pass rush grade. Neither one of those grades will blow you away but still very serviceable especially on early downs or short yardage situations, when the run is more likely or prevalent. So what I would envision the team doing is sign Danny Shelton to a one year deal and utilize him on first and second downs only. This would give more options and less stress over feeling they have to address the position with the 28th pick and allow them to go by the draft board and help prevent them from reaching on a player. I also firmly believe that Shelton could fill that anchor nose tackle role in the base 4-3 set or the 2 tech defensive tackle in the bear front.