Oct 25, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies defensive lineman Danny Shelton (55) makes a tackle against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Browns have signed nose tackle Danny Shelton to a four-year contract, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
The deal reportedly also includes the standard fifth-year team option.
“Anytime you add a guy that’s going to force two guys to block him it’s going to free things up for other guys and keep those linebackers clean to the ball.” – Defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil
The Browns selected the 6-foot-2, 339-pound Shelton in large part to help fix the run defense after finishing last in the NFL against the run in 2014.
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“I know he is going to help us to get to third and long,” general manager Ray Farmer said on draft night. “The question is do we have better rushers than him? Potentially. I think that we probably do have some guys that are better rushers, but I don’t think this guy is a void of playing three downs. I think there is a possibility he does play all three downs.
“Here’s a young man who played upwards of 90 to 100 snaps out there in the PAC-12. He showed some ability to rush the passer, can play lateral and down the line of scrimmage. Definitely is a guy who I like to refer to as a guy who requires four hands, where he’s going to require more than one guy to pay attention to him. I love his temperament. I love how he played. I love that this kid is a smart kid, high GPA – high school and college. The guy is a football player. We’re excited about the fact that we’re going to add a guy that helps us solidify the middle of our defense and make us better up front.”
Shelton joins a defensive line rotation with Phil Taylor, John Hughes, Randy Starks, Billy Winn, Desmond Bryant, and fellow rookie Xavier Cooper. This group has the potential to start making opposing running backs work for their yards, and even crush the pocket and free-up the pass rush around the outside.
What kind of impact can Danny Shelton make on the run defense?