Sojourn Shelton, CB
School: Wisconsin | Conference: BIG-10
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 177 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Tavon Young
Sojourn Shelton is a Florida native and was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. He received offers from Florida State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, among others. Shelton decided to take his talent up north to Wisconsin. At Wisconsin, he was a four-year starter and has played consistently well ever since not to mention a career year this past season in passes defended. The obvious knock on Shelton is his size he’s a “short and light” guy by NFL standards. The plus on Shelton is that he plays much bigger than his size and he is a passionate competitor. He is going to get out jumped, boxed up, and bodied out of position at times in the NFL but he is also going to make some incredible plays that a guy his size shouldn’t be able to make. Shelton played boundary corner at Wisconsin but because of his size, he’s an excellent candidate to move to the slot position.
- Great overall cover skills. I think Shelton is a bit better at playing zone coverage than he is in man coverage. He shows good awareness and route recognition and normally is always around the receiver.
- Great vision and anticipation. He is aware of space and angles and keeps eyes on the QB, WR, and ball. Knows how and when to time his disruption and when to break on passes.
- Great athleticism. Is a pest in coverage and can stick with some of the fastest guys. Has great short-area burst to make up ground as well.
- Plays like he’s 6-0 / 200
- Doesn't meet the height and weight requirement of a standard NFL corner. Overall physicality is a question. Decent tackler but needs more sand in his pants to deliver boom.
- Can get grabby if panicked by not seeing the ball compromising the play and drawing flags.
- Value is further limited but not being a real return option on special teams despite his athleticism and size.
Let’s see his work:
Sojourn Shelton says teams have told him Day 3 and Rounds 5-7. Scouts like him inside but he says he's played outside well, can do it all.— owen riese (@RieseDraft) March 15, 2017
Wisconsin corner Sojourn Shelton is tiny (listed at 5'9" and 172) but has great ball skills. Could be a quality Day 3 pick. pic.twitter.com/fo38EAHa3K— Riley (@junioraumanac) February 27, 2017
Keep your eyes peeled for DB Sojourn Shelton at the NFL Scouting Combine. When he's in coverage he's bulletproof to QBs. pic.twitter.com/Bt2INflftn— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 25, 2017
@JonahTulsNFL Draft community sleeping on Sojourn Shelton. Small, so-so timed speed, but watch his tape vs. Corey Davis. Or vs. Ju-Ju in '15— Pat Fitzmaurice (@Fitz_FF) January 5, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
I think Shelton’s NFL future is brighter than what is being portrayed at this time. Just because the dude is 5'9’’ doesn't preclude him from playing on Sundays. Shelton has already proved in college that he can go up against bigger more physical receivers and still have success. The big question for him is can he consistently play with the intensity and fight needed to annoy the hell out of NFL receivers. He will no doubt have to get back to basics in not being so hands on downfield and improving his tackling so he doesn't hurt his chances but he has the talent and abilities in my view to stick with a team at the slot position.
No corner on the Redskins has stepped up to claim the nickel/slot position. Not only am I in favor of adding a corner from this deep draft class but I would not be opposed to drafting a corner specifically for playing the slot position. If the selection of someone in the draft pushes Kendal Fuller or Quinton Dunbar back to dime CB duties that's fine by me as long as the best 3 or 4 CBs are on the on the field. If that new guy happens to be Shelton I’d welcome him to compete with open arms because I know he’ll give it his best shot and quite frankly may give a player alike Dunbar a run for his money.