Report: Saints expected to sign Jets DT Nathan Shepherd

The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign former New York Jets defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, as first reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini. The fifth-year pro impressed Saints scouts at the Senior Bowl back in 2018 but ended up being picked by the Jets in the third round of the NFL draft; he played on the veteran minimum salary last season and shouldn’t factor into the compensatory picks formula for 2024 unless the Saints are giving him a big raise.

Shepherd, 29, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds and posted an impressive Relative Athletic Score coming out of Fort Hayes State, so he fits what the Saints have been looking for along the interior line. He also served a six-game suspension for violating the league PED policy in 2019.

He’s coming off his best year in run defense and racked up 17 pressures (with a couple of sacks) as a pass rusher per Pro Football Focus. He’s a good replacement for Shy Tuttle as a veteran presence inside, but the Saints need to keep investing resources at defensive tackle. Right now Shepherd and practice squad holdover Prince Emili are their only players at the position.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire