Name: Shakir Soto
Height: 6’3" Weight: 287 lbs
Age: 23 Experience: Rookie
In college, Soto was a physical and relentless defensive lineman on a Pitt team with a great line and run defense. As an undrafted free agent, Soto isn’t likely going to make the final 53-man roster at his position. It typically takes a year or two for a defensive lineman to begin to understand the nuances of playing at the NFL level.
What makes Soto intriguing is if he makes the practice squad. At his size and frame, he could develop into a solid lineman in the NFL.
The Denver Broncos had their eye on Soto well before the draft. During his pro day, the Broncos told him they were looking to draft a defensive tackle in the later rounds. Instead, the Broncos were able to convince him to sign as an undrafted free agent.
As a defensive end in the 4-3 alignment in college, he’ll be making a transition to the interior 3-4 defensive end. This will make his development slower and his impact in 2017 negligible. If Bill Kollar sees something in Soto, then we should expect to see Denver stow him away on their practice squad to continue his development.
Soto is working on getting his weight up and also focused on developing his skills as an interior lineman. Before the 2017 NFL Draft, Soto was already working towards both of those goals.
“Teams are looking at me as a tackle,” Soto said. “The move definitely shows that I can play different positions. It shows I made a sacrifice for the team. It was a fun time. I kind of wish I move to tackle earlier. Some teams have talked about my versatility.”
As a guy who idolized Aaron Donald, whom he played with his freshman year at Pitt, he seems to have the right mindset to keep growing as a player. The only question now is whether he can do it.
I really like Soto’s potential and I hope he ends up on the Broncos practice squad for 2017. He will need a redshirt year somewhere and hopefully it will be with Denver.
Would you like to see Soto make the Broncos practice squad?
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