The Cleveland Browns season is over. We will spend a good amount of time reviewing the season but we will spend even more time preparing for the off-season. Browns 2015 NFL Draft seems ready to be a very interesting one for the team. With 10 picks, including two in the first round, the Browns are ready to make noise again for the second year in a row.
Instead the 2014 started off strong and ended with a thud. Last year the Browns draft included a big trade down and the drafting of Johnny Manziel. While the first round hasn’t panned out yet, the rest of the draft seems to be great. It is likely that GM Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine see a greater need for more veteran talent on a very young roster and we expect them to be aggressive in seeking to bring in that talent during Browns free agency.
After free agency we wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns tried to trade their picks to move up, to get another veteran or went with best player available instead of drafting for need. Farmer did this last year when he drafted Joel Bitonio, Terrance West, Christian Kirksey and others instead of drafting a wide receiver. We could see that again.
In preparation for such we will be taking a look at certain players that we think the Browns could target. Keep in mind we are not saying that these are players they are targeting, although some rumors may start to leak of the Browns having interest in them, instead these are players that we think the Browns could or should have interest in. Our profile will try to include as much information as possible to prepare you for free agency.
6’2″, 332 lbs
2014 – 14 Games; 53 Solo tackles; 40 Assisted tackles; 16.5 tackles for loss; 9 sacks; 3 QB Hurries
2014 NFL Draft Comparison
No true comparison to Danny Shelton in the 2014 Draft Class. Shelton’s abilities are nearly unmatched and some pundits draw a comparison to NFL veteran Vince Wilfork, due in part to Shelton possessing a thick frame, strength, and his ability to dominate the middle. (Editor’s Note: Very true here. Many will try to compare him to Aaron Donald, the top drafted DT in 2014, but they are different type of players.)
2015 NFL Draft Range
10-20 Range 1st Round – The 2015 NFL Draft has great depth along the Offensive and Defensive lines. Danny Shelton is another defensive interior player who is among the top 5 in this draft class. He possesses a powerful bull-rush that allowed him to push the center and collapse the pocket. Shelton has surprisingly good mobility for his size and plays with great effort in pursuit. He has the innate ability to locate the football quickly and has great short burst to close on the ball carrier. Where Shelton could fall on draft day comes down to scheme and need, despite how his production would indicate he is not a consistent pass rushing threat. Shelton is more of a traditional two-gap run-stopper with the strength to bull-rush opponents. Shelton would be an ideal fit for a team that needs a run stopper or a traditional nose tackle.
Fit with the Browns
Danny Shelton is a college senior who passes all the eye tests heading towards the draft, he is a big and strong interior defensive lineman who finished off his senior year with AP All-American honors, recording 93 tackles, including 16.5 tackles for loss and 9 sacks. Danny has a wide frame that allows him to anchor and hold, even against double teams that were thrown his way often. Shelton would fit the need the Browns are looking for in a high motor player who has the ability to hold the line and take on double teams while allowing edge defender to go free towards the Quarterback. But his skills as a two-gap run stopper are what should really draw the Browns’ attention. His quick burst and ability to shed lineman and tackle the ball carrier nearby is exactly what the Browns defense needs.
Browns Player Selection Could Impact
John Hughes stands to be the most impacted player by the drafting or signing of any defensive lineman. Hughes has been a decent player for the Browns’ but has been out shined and out performed by both Billy Winn and Armonty Bryant. Outside of Hughes being impacted, free agent DT Ahtyba Rubin stands to be on the outside looking in and with lackluster stats for the Browns’ against the run it stands that he may be free to walk in free agency.
How Selection Could Be Impacted By Free Agency
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The Browns have a number of needs to address in free agency, but defensive line and wide receiver seem to be at the top of the list. Signing a free agent wide receiver would address one of those needs and allow the Browns to concentrate on finding a run stopper along the defensive line in the first round. If the Browns choose to sign a veteran defensive lineman in free agency then the Browns might be in a scenario taking a “best player available” approach or focus on finding a young wide receiver.
High – The Browns defense has shown potential, but the front seven needs depth and an infusion of talent whether it is through the draft or the signing of a veteran free agent. Danny Shelton would be a great fit as a traditional nose tackle who has an eye for the ball, can stuff the run, can occupy blockers and, along with the perimeter defenders, go after the Quarterback.
What do you think about targeting Danny Shelton in the 2015 NFL Draft?
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