Cleveland Browns Pick of Danny Shelton a Perfect Fit


The Cleveland Browns were probably the most speculated about team in the weeks leading up to the draft. With many needs and two first round draft picks, it seemed a trade of some sort was inevitable. Instead, the Browns selected Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton with the 12th Overall pick.

I don’t remember seeing this in any mock drafts.

More from Cleveland Browns

Danny Shelton is likened to longtime New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork. If he has anywhere near Wilfork’s success this will be a great pick.

As’s Mike Huegunin predicted, Shelton is the first interior defensive lineman taken in the 2015 draft.

“Shelton put up huge stats for the Huskies during the 2014 season — 93 tackles (13 more than touted Huskies LB Shaq Thompson), nine sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. Those are ‘crazy numbers for a nose tackle,’ analyst Mike Mayock said.”

Shelton was the top fumble recoverer in the nation last year. As Mike Mayock noted during the draft, “Cleveland was No. 32 against the run last season. That stops now. The Browns are better right now.”

At 339 pounds, no one is running Shelton over. In fact, Shelton practically ran NFL Commissioner Roger Godell over when he went up on stage for his walk of fame. The new Brown lifted the Commissioner off his feet with his embrance, dwarfing him in height, width and girth.

Just something else that was predicted, when NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah commented before the draft, “He tosses human beings for fun.”

Shelton’s size is an advantage if he can keep the weight under control. One of the criticisms from the NFL Network’s draft analysis panel was fluctuations in his weight that made him sloppy in college. The biggest black mark was Shelton’s underwhelming 5.66 40 time at the combine.

Jan 22, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad defensive tackle Danny Shelton of Washington (95) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremiah before the draft and Mike Mayock during the draft both scoffed that this time would wreck Shelton’s draft status.

Mayock stated at the draft, “I trust my eyes; he has quickness. He plays with leverage. I’m amazed a guy that big has vision and instincts like that.”

Jeremiah wrote, “I don’t care. … He is so rare with his strength and his power.”

That power was on display at the combine too, where Danny was the top performer in the bench press with 34 reps and also posted a fantastic vertical jump, especially for his weight.

But Shelton is more than just a big run blocking body. He was the first Washington Huskie to earn first-team Academic All-American  recognition since 1991. That shows he’s a smart guy and a hard worker. He can balance physical training with study.

And then there’s the personality of the player. Shelton spoke proudly of his family heritage and showed off his personality and roots with his traditional dress at the combine. The Browns could also use the infusion of personality that he promises to bring.

One thing is certain. The Browns are better. Right now.

Next: Has Jamaal Charles Lost a Step?

More from NFL Spin Zone