Cincinnati Bengals host former Patriots DT Danny Shelton
The Cincinnati Bengals are hosting former Patriots’ defensive tackle Danny Shelton.
Source: the Bengals hosted former Patriots DT Danny Shelton on a free agent visit. Powerful, big body with run stuffing acumen.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 15, 2019
Shelton is a former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns. He was traded to the Patriots last offseason and was a rotational defensive lineman. Despite his limited reps with the Patriots, he’s a big-body defensive tackle (6-2, 245 pounds) who has been very solid at stuffing the run game. However, he doesn’t bring much to the pass rush.
As for the Bengals, they had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season. They allowed 137.8 rushing yards per game, fourth-worst in the league in 2018. They currently have Geno Atkins and Andrew Billings as their starting defensive tackles. The Bengals can use more depth to improve their defensive front. Josh Tupou was often ineffective in a reserve role while Adolphus Washington showed some good things as a backup.
Being only 26 years old, Shelton has a lot of football left in his career and has proven to be a good run-stuffing nose tackle. He would be good rotational tackle who will help keep Atkins and Billings fresh. He’s probably a better fit to play in a 3-4 scheme, but his experience in the Patriots’ 4-3 system should help his potential transition to the Bengals.
The Bengals still have a lot of needs, despite their inactivity in free agency. Shelton won a Super Bowl championship with the New England Patriots. If the Bengals can improve their defensive front to start shutting down the run game, their 32nd-ranked pass defense should benefit as well. Maybe Shelton can provide some wisdom to a team that needs a lot of pieces to return to the playoffs.