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2020 NFL Draft

Cleveland Browns draft Washington DL Danny Shelton in 1st round

The Cleveland Browns selected Washington defensive lineman Danny Shelton with the 12th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Shelton greeted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with a bear hug on the stage at Chicago's Roosevelt Theatre before posing with a new Browns jersey.

"I can't even explain it right now. It's crazy, man," Shelton told NFL Network. "It's happening now. It's super crazy. I can't even think straight right now."

Shelton finished his senior season with 93 tackles, good for second on the team. He was 14th in the nation with 16.5 tackles for loss, 19th with nine sacks and all alone at the top with five fumble recoveries.

"It's all the hard work and got to thank the man upstairs for blessing me with this incredible season," Shelton told in January at the Senior Bowl. "Best season I had yet."

Shelton, at 6-foot-2 and 339 pounds, gives the Browns a big body in the middle of a defensive line that is looking to bounce back from an injury-filled 2014 season. He joins veteran free agent Randy Starks as the second addition to a group that saw veteran Ahtyba Rubin depart for the Seahawks.

"Obviously a big kid with size," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. "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."

Farmer said he potentially sees Shelton as a defensive lineman who can play all three downs.

"I know he is going to help us to get to third and long," Farmer said. "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."

Shelton's durability is among his top strengths, as he withstood the beating that comes with playing in the middle of the defensive line to play in 39 consecutive games. He also rarely left the field on third down at Washington, where he starred on a defense that produced three first-round picks in the 2015 NFL Draft.

"I'm the type of guy who's not going to go down if he gets a little bump," Shelton said. "I played my whole senior season with a sprained shoulder. That just explains my type of attitude. I have that warrior mentality."

Pettine said Shelton was the first player Browns defensive line coach Anthony Weaver watched on film when he began evaluating players from the 2015 class. Cleveland's coaches first met with Shelton in January at the Senior Bowl and got an even deeper look at Shelton at the NFL Combine and a pre-draft visit in Berea.

Shelton said he's been feeling love from the Dawg Pound through social media for months.

"As soon as I got that phone call, I was smiling. I'm still smiling," Shelton said. "It's exciting because of the fan support, the Dawg Pound and the social media has given me nothing but love. That was throughout this whole process. It's crazy to think that now I get to go out and be a part of the Dawg Pound."

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