In a crucial moment, Nehemiah Shelton made the play his team needed.
San Jose State was leading 14-7 in a Mountain West matchup in 2021 against Hawaii midway through the third quarter. The Rainbow Warriors were close to tying things up, facing third and 4 on SJSU’s 8-yard line.
Hawaii’s wide receiver who Shelton, a Spartans cornerback, was in charge of covering ran a go route. Shelton mirrored his opponent’s movements and didn’t give up any separation. When a pass went their way, Shelton swatted the ball to the ground as it hit the receiver’s hands, forcing an incompletion and a field goal attempt.
Shelton has the skill set to make great contributions for an NFL secondary.
Nehemiah Shelton Stats And Highlights
Shelton was on the All-Mountain West honorable mention list each of the past two years.
Shelton finished the 2022 season with 49 tackles, two interceptions, and eight pass deflections.
The year before, he was third in the country with 1.4 pass deflections per game to go with 62 tackles and two picks.
Shelton was also a starter the previous two seasons. For his career, he totaled 195 tackles, 32 pass deflections, eight picks, and 3.5 tackles for loss.
Nehemiah Shelton Draft Projection
Shelton has room for improvement, but he could go in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. He’s also been projected to become an undrafted free agent.
Nehemiah Shelton Draft Profile
Shelton was one of San Jose State’s best defenders for years.
After playing at Long Beach City College, he began seeing playing time for the Spartans in 2018 and was starting by the following year. In 2019, he led the team in pass breakups (seven) and was tied for second on the team with three picks.
In Shelton’s career, he allowed 143 receptions on 238 targets. Last year, he was tied for 38th in the country with 15.5 yards allowed per reception as he allowed a 67.6% reception rate on 68 targets his way.
So Shelton could make some improvements, but he can absolutely cover skilled wide receivers.
At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds in college, Shelton has a good frame to play cornerback. But he also has the ability to move to nickelback or safety, as he’s not afraid to be physical when he’s tackling.
What Shelton was able to accomplish in college – and what he could potentially do as a pro – should make teams consider drafting him.