NT- Danny Shelton
Cleveland Browns nose tackle Danny Shelton is (darn near) a Pro Bowler. Perhaps the only draft pick to thank former general manager Ray Farmer for, Shelton has been stellar this season.
He’s racked up 45 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks this season, both totals already exceed his rookie season. According to Pro Football Focus player grades, Shelton is the 12th ranked defensive linemen in the NFL with a score of 83.5.
Last season, Shelton’s player grade was an average 71.3. His progression this season is directly related to his ability to stay on the field. Shelton saw only 506 snaps in 16 games played during his rookie campaign. This season? Shelton is13th among NFL d-linemen with a total of 558 total snaps through just 12 games.
By definition, Shelton is a run-stopper. He won’t apply pressure to the quarterback, but he can clog up the middle and dismantle the opposition’s run game. In the PFF ratings for run defense among DL, Shelton ranks fifth with a rating of 84.0. The only names ahead of him are well-known commodities such as Kyle Williams, Ndamukong Suh, Damon Harrison and Aaron Donald.
Shelton is an on-the-rise star in the NFL playing on a very, very bad defense. Defense and offensive line should be the focus in the 2017 Draft to benefit guys like Shelton and linebacker Chris Kirksey moving forward.