2019 team/Salary: New England Patriots / $1.03 million
2019 stats: 16 games played, 14 starts, 3.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 60 total tackles
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 345
Shelton has spent the last two seasons manning the middle of the New England Patriots’ defense, much in the same way that Harrison has for the Lions. Along with the obvious New England-to-Detroit pipeline and to a very similar body type and scheme fit, Shelton would be an adequate replacement should Harrison decide to hang up his cleats.
That’s not to say that Shelton would be an upgrade over Harrison; he hasn’t necessarily lived up to his first-round draft status in his five NFL seasons. Regardless, the Lions’ defense requires a girthy, two-down nose tackle that can plug running holes and help control two gaps along the front line. Shelton is capable of these responsibilities.
Additionally, he managed to provide a modicum of pass-rushing juice in 2019, doubling his previous career total with 3.0 sacks last season. Shelton will never be mistaken for a fire-breathing pass rusher, but any quarterback pressure from their interior linemen would be a welcome supplement to a Lions’ defense that has been starved for quarterback takedowns for several years running.