Put Washington defensive lineman Danny Shelton in a category with Missouri defensive end Shane Ray and West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White among players who might have helped their draft status as much as any player in college football this season.
In fact, Shelton is certain to be chosen in the first round of the 2015 draft, according to one NFL scout.
"He's a massive dude. And he's not just a square, can't-move dude. He can run and he's physical and he can move. It's mind-blowing how easy it looks for him," the scout told the Seattle Times. "He was just toying with people at times. ... He went from, 'Oh, we should probably take a look at this guy' in the summer to a first-round lock now."
The USA Today first-team All-American led the nation in fumble recoveries with five while making nine sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. Those sound like numbers for a defensive end, but Shelton is a 340-pound senior nose guard who blew up offensive backfields from the most difficult place of all -- squarely in the middle of the line.
NFL scouting opinions on other Washington prospects, according to the report:
» On pass rusher Hau'oli Kikaha, who led the nation in sacks with 19: "He's an interesting case. The sack numbers obviously jump out at you. But in terms of NFL traits, he's just not the biggest guy, he's not the most athletic guy, he's not the fastest guy. But he is strong, tough, instinctive and does play extremely hard. ... I think he might slide (in the draft), but he'll have a chance to stick around (in the league) as long as he stays healthy."
» On Shaq Thompson, a two-way prospect at linebacker and running back who announced he will turn pro earlier Monday: "His versatility is pretty spectacular with everything he can do. When he played running back for them, it seemed like he'd been playing there the whole time. He's a good athlete, very instinctive and tough. But, for me, he's tough to (evaluate) because he is that 'tweener -- he's not the ideal size for a linebacker or a safety. He's probably more of a natural linebacker, but he needs to develop his hand use and shielding blocks better. That's going to be a challenge for him (in the NFL)."
» The scout also had some serious concerns about former UW cornerback Marcus Peters, who was dismissed from the program near the end of the season but is considered one of the top talents available in the draft.