Coming with some very demanding family ties in the NFL, Brandon Shell, out of South Carolina as a college player, will try to find his place in the league, with the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens the first to showing some interest.
Shell is the nephew of Art Shell, a hall of fame offensive lineman who won three Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders. He also coached the Raiders, sometimes successfully (three playoff appearances) but his last season with them, a one-year stint in 2006, ended with a 2-14 record. But this is about the next generation, not the one that was.
Art Shell was a third round pick back in the late 60’s. His nephew is probably going to be a third day pick in the draft. While he has the length and the height to be very successful as a right tackle, he doesn’t have the reaction speed or the technique at the moment to succeed as a left tackle, or on the interior as a guard.
He’s a good prospect to have, and assuming he fixes some problems once he enters the league, he might be able to become a starting right tackle in the right situation. He did play as a starting lineman four years straight in a difficult division. He’s better as a pass blocker than as someone who paves way for runs, which is another thing worth taking into account.
He’s not the type of player who should be an immediate starter, and taking him is going into a year or two of development. He’s not going to fix immediate offensive line problems. But Shell seems big enough and gifted enough to become a long-time player in the NFL. Maybe not as a starter, but teams need backups too.