BEREA, Ohio—The Browns introduced their two first round draft choices on Friday and both came off very well-spoken and ready to get to work. Danny Shelton also showed he’s got a sense of humor.
But more importantly, the pair are ready to help the Browns take steps to playing winning football.
Shelton’s first words to open the press conference endeared himself to Browns fans.
“How’s the Dawg Pound?”
Shelton said he’s excited to start a new chapter in his life in Cleveland.
“I’m just hoping to learn more about the history of the Dawg Pound and learn more about the Dawg Pound,” Shelton said. “It’s going to be great.”
Cameron Erving agreed with Shelton.
“Getting drafted by Cleveland is definitely something that I’m never going to forget.”
Erving said he had an inkling that the Browns might pick him, but he said he was almost positive that Shelton was going to be drafted by the Browns.
“I was telling people and try not to pay attention to mock drafts,” Erving said. “The first time I met Danny, I told him that Cleveland likes you, we might be teammates. I think Cleveland likes me and they might pick me. I said we might be teammates and it happened on draft night.”
Shelton was introduced in Berea four years to the day that he was with his two older brothers, who were shot in an altercation in Auburn, Wash. His brother, Shennon, who was 22 at the time died and the eldest, Tui was hospitalized. Danny was 17 at the time of the incident.
“It’s a great time to celebrate with my family,” Shelton said. “It’s just great. Four years ago I didn’t see myself being here. It’s definitely a blessing.”
Erving–who has only been an offensive lineman for three years after being converted from the defensive side– said he tried to pattern his play after Pro Bowler and new teammate Joe Thomas while learning the left tackle position.
“He’s a consistent player,” Erving said. “He’s just one of those guys who’s going to take the same tact and no one is going to beat him on the edge. You just watch his steps, his technique, how he uses his hands. I got really technical with being an offensive lineman. When I first started playing, I watched him. It was a great example to look at. Joe Thomas, he’s going to be a Hall of Fame player someday.”
And now Erving gets to play along side of him.
Shelton was often criticized by draft experts because he had a slow 40-yard dash time of 5.64. He was asked what his thoughts were of his speed.
“I think it is super important if you’re a track star,” Shelton responded.
Mike Pettine said he expects Shelton to be a disruptive influence, even in the passing game.
“I think he can play on third down,” Pettine said. “He did have nine sacks. When you can push the pocket and eliminate the step-up option for the quarterback, you will find your edges suddenly become more productive. If he is not getting production, he is causing production. The other good thing, too, is if there is a threat of a run on third down, you can put Shelton out there and a bunch of small guys around him and know that he can be disrupt versus any run scheme and they you can tee off with everybody else to attack the quarterback.”
Shelton also said he plans to break the stereotype of a typical 340-pound nose tackle, who typically just plays on first and second downs.
“I play two downs, three downs, four downs or if there’s five downs,” he said. “It doesn’t matter about my weight. I’m going to be that guy to break stereotypes.”