Canadian DL Nathan Shepherd to sign with New Orleans Saints

Photo: AP/David Zalubowski

Canadian defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd is expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

The native of Ajax, Ont. was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Fort Hays State by the New York Jets. He played five seasons with the team, dressing for 73 games with 12 starts. He recorded 104 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 33 quarterback hits, and six sacks.

The six-foot-four, 315-pound defender originally started his collegiate career at Simon Fraser University in B.C. He left the school after he was unable to pay tuition and worked a series of odd jobs before receiving an offer from Fort Hays State. He was named the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.

The 29-year-old attended the 2018 NFL Combine and showed well, running a 5.09-second forty-yard dash, leaping 31 inches in the vertical jump, and finishing the 20-yard shuttle in 4.53 seconds.

Shepherd earned $945,000 on a one-year deal with the Jets this past season. His career NFL earnings are just shy of $4 million.

The Saints lost Canadian defensive lineman David Onyemata to the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week, giving Shepherd a role to fill at defensive tackle.