The Cleveland Browns have been much maligned for their failure to draft impact players. Danny Shelton puts all that to rest with his play on Sundays.
The Cleveland Browns have a first-round draft pick who is actually playing like one. But as many Browns fans probably haven’t noticed, Danny Shelton has become a playmaker on defense. His play is the major reason the Browns have had success against the run.
The Browns defense is 12th in the league in average yards per carry at 3.9 yards an attempt. To put that in perspective, that is the better than the Bengals (4.4) and the Steelers (4.1). The Browns also have had the fifth-most rushes against them in the league at 147 attempts. This means they are maintaining this average over a significant number of attempts. The run defense is for real.
During the preseason, teams ran the ball at will on the Browns. However, things changed dramatically when the regular season started. The main impetus for that change is Danny Shelton. The much maligned first-round draft pick has played at an All-Pro level.
Shelton’s play has gone largely unnoticed. During the preseason, fans and national media derided the Browns for missing on several first-round picks. But where are the haters now that Shelton is playing off the charts football?
Maybe it is the switch to number 55, but Shelton is doing all the things a first-round pick should be doing in his second season. Let’s take a look.