North Dakota State University
Undrafted Free Agent
Career Stats: (College)
Forced Fumbles: 1
Shepherd transferred from the University of Nebraska to North Dakota State University where he became a standout for the Bison. Shepherd was a solid defensive back in college, however, his special teams ability is what brought him to Washington. The Redskins had the worst special teams unit in the NFL last season, and improving this unit has been a focal point of this offseason for the Skins. They signed three inside linebackers who all have history contributing on special teams, as well as drafting Bashaud Breeland a special teams standout in college himself. The bottom line is that the Redskins learned the hard way last season how big of an impact special teams has on an NFL game, and are making an effort to improve upon that aspect of their team, Shepherd being another piece to that puzzle.
Roster Bubble: Training Camp Player
Unfortunately for Shepherd, even if he proves to be a standout special teams player in training camp and preseason, he will have an uphill battle to make the 53 man roster. It is very rare that a player on the 53 man roster is strictly a special teams player, so Shepherd will have to beat out E.J. Biggers, Richard Crawford, Chase Minnifield, and Bashaud Breeland among others for the final two cornerback spots (Hall, Amerson, and Porter are essentially locks to make the roster). Shepherd will likely be a practice squad member for the 2014 season, and come back and compete more aggressively for a roster spot in 2015. Shepherd is a prospect worth developing and at the very least if developed could serve as a solid backup cornerback and special teams standout.
It appears Shepherd is aware of the work he has cut out for him if he wants to make the 53-man roster, only time will tell if he is up to the challenge.