Shelton has consistently received more snaps with the first team than Mike Pennel throughout training camp, Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports.

Shelton served as a depth option in New England last season and now appears to be thriving in a more aggressive role. If the former first-round pick is able to continue building momentum, he could conceivably carve out a starting gig in the Patriots' defense, which is in need of disruptive playmakers along the defensive line.

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