NFL CAREER – Originally selected by the Jets in the third round (72nd overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Fort Hays State, this versatile defensive tackle enters his sixth NFL season, his first with the New Orleans Saints. The Ajax, Ontario, Canada native has appeared in 73 career games with 12 starts, totaling 121 tackles (60 solo) and six sacks for a loss of 55 yards. In 2022, he appeared in 17 games with three starts for the Jets, posting a career-high 33 tackles (16 solo), 1.5 sacks and four stops for loss.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms with the New Orleans Saints (UFA-NYJ), 3/17/23; Re-signed by the New York Jets to a one-year contract, 3/16/22; Signed by the Jets to a four-year contract, 9/10/19; Originally selected by the Jets in the third round (72nd overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.
2022 – Played in all 17 games with three starts in 2022 and posted a career-high 33 tackles, 1.5 sacks and four stops for loss as part of a defensive line rotation for a defense ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense (311.1 ypg.) and scoring defense (18.6 ppg.) and tenth in rushing yards per play (4.2 avg.)…Posted three tackles (two solo) and one sack vs. New England, Oct. 30…Started and finished with four tackles (two solo) and one split sack vs. Chicago, Nov. 27. 2021– Appeared in all 17 games (one start), one of four Jets defensive players to play every game. Finished with 28 tackles, eight QB hits and 15 QB pressures. 2020 – Appeared as part of a Jets defense that allowed 4.03 yards per carry, the seventh best average in the league. Registered 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks, including 10 stops and 2.5 sacks over the final three games (all starts). 2019 – Limited to the final nine games of the season following returning from suspension in Week Eight. Registered 15 tackles and first 2.5 sacks of his career. Added five stops for loss, contributing to a defense that led the NFL with 117 tackles for no gain or negative yards. 2018 – Appeared in all 16 games (five starts). Registered 18 tackles and five quarterback hits, ranking in the top 10 among rookie defensive linemen (according to Radar360).
COLLEGE – Started his college career as a 205-pound defensive end at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia in 2012…Transferred to Fort Hays State in 2015 after working two years to save money, where he played from 2015-17 and earned AFCA and D2Football.com first-team All-American honors and Associated Press second-team All-American recognition as a senior in 2017, when he finished with 38 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, receiving an invite to the 2018 Senior Bowl…Only the third player ever drafted from Fort Hayes State and the first in over 30 years.
PERSONAL – Played LB at J. Clarke Richardson (Ajax, Ontario) Collegiate…Started playing football as a youth with the Ajax/Pickering Dolphins Football Club…As a result of Canadian universities not offering full athletic scholarships, Shepherd was forced to withdraw from Simon Fraser before enrolling at Fort Hays State the following year. In his time between the two schools – two seasons – he worked in a plant nursery, electrical construction, which his father does, and at a factory that made boxes for beer and soda, working out by doing push-ups before or after his 12- to 14-hour shifts…After paying his way to Fort Hays State for the second semester of 2015, was put on scholarship subsequently.