Cleveland Browns: Will a slimmer Danny Shelton be better in 2016?
Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Danny Shelton has reportedly lost a great deal of weight in 2016.
The Cleveland Browns selected Danny Shelton with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and had high hopes for the defensive lineman out of Washington.
He was supposed to help shore up the defensive front, but the Browns still finished 27th overall in total defense, allowing just over 379 yards per game. This included just over 128 rushing yards per game.
This was not what the team had hoped for with Shelton’s presence on the field, but it was clear he was not able to be an every-down player on defense. But a change he made in 2016 should help improve his play and his stamina.
Conor Orr of NFL.com talked about the weight loss and how it can change Shelton’s game:
"Shelton came into the draft at about 340 pounds but, according to Cleveland.com, finished the season in the 365 range. He was not used frequently in the passing game despite his ability in college as a destructive interior presence. Cleveland is hoping to avoid the traditional 3-4 nose path for Shelton, which would eliminate a potentially great player from about two-thirds of the team’s defensive snaps."
The weight loss down to 335 pounds can help Shelton be more of a versatile player instead of getting stuck as just a big body in the middle of the line, as Orr talks about.
Browns fans remember the likes of Ted Washington and Shaun Rogers, both of whom came to the Browns as nose tackles. They were successful when on the field, but neither could manage to play as much as the other linemen because of their weight.
Shelton is only 22 years old, so losing some weight now will help him stay in playing shape, while also allowing him to be healthier in his everyday life.
In a football sense, the loss should help him show more of the explosiveness he showed in college. Orr explains this as well:
"Watching Shelton at the senior bowl back in 2015, there was not a more athletic player pound for pound on the field. Despite his size, Shelton was keeping up with most of the hyper-speed Pac-12 offenses that he saw in college, but was far more dominant against traditional power teams."
Orr’s words become clear when looking back at the tape of Shelton when he was at Washington.
Watching Shelton play in college shows why the Browns took him with such a high pick in 2015, and the weight loss this year should help him get back to the dominance he showed just a few years ago.
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Hue Jackson has come in and inspired his players to be better, and it appears as if his message has reached Shelton.