2016 NFL Draft: early look at Notre Dame’s Sheldon Day


Notre Dame’s Sheldon Day is a high-motor defensive tackle prospect. He plays with a tenacity that helps him fight through blocks and constantly pursue the football. Day will need to overcome some size concerns, but he’s still a high-end defensive line prospect.

His best attributes are his explosive first step and lateral quickness. Day does a great job timing the snap and exploding out of his stance. This allows him to either shoot the gap or gain inside hand position. He is truly a disruptive player who spends a lot of time in the offensive backfield.

Day’s lateral quickness and violent hands keep him clean as he works towards the football. This is important because he lacks great length or bulk. With less than ideal measurables, it is important Day keeps blockers off his frame.

The clip below shows Day firing off the ball, flashing violent hands and slipping past the offensive line:

Awareness is an important part of Day’s game as it allows him to get a job on his opponents. It starts with his snap timing but also extends to his ability to identify developing plays. This clip shows Day quickly recognizing the wide receiver screen and putting himself in position to disrupt the timing:

The big thing for Day is finding a fit for him at the next level. His limited size will make it tough for him to hold up at defensive tackle in a traditional 4-3 defense. However, his explosiveness and quickness makes him a strong fit at the five-technique position.

Day’s ability to play in the offensive backfield and disrupt is a valuable skill in the NFL.

Current Draft Position: 2nd Round