Atlanta Falcons: Three reasons why signing Derrick Shelby was a good move
By Adnan Ikic
1) A Diamond In the Rough
Undrafted out of the University of Utah, Derrick Shelby has been overlooked throughout his entire NFL career. He made it to his second professional contract, but was once again completely overlooked in free agency this year.
The stats aren’t gaudy: over the course of his four year career, he’s only tallied 9.0 total sacks. However, the impact that Shelby made goes beyond just the stat-sheet.
The University of Utah alum got his chance to start opposite Olivier Vernon after Cameron Wake went down with an injury last season, and he showcased himself quite well.
Shelby’s performance was looked at very highly by the folks over at Pro Football Focus, who ranked him as the 10th best 4-3 defensive end in the NFL last season. He was ranked the 8th best run defender, and the 15th best pass rusher (right behind Vic Beasley) among 4-3 DE’s.
Shelby has great instincts, which make him a very good defender against the run. He’s also proficient against the pass, using a strong bull-rush as his go to move. He tallied 41 QB pressures on 414 rushes last season. By comparison, Mario Williams (who Miami just signed for $8 mil per year, and who is four years older than Shelby) registered 37 QB pressures on 507 rushes.
Next: No. 2