Washington DT Danny Shelton selected 12th by Browns

Apr 30, 2015, 6:26 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2016, 10:50 am
Danny Shelton, a first-team All-American in 2015, was selected by the Browns with the 12th pick. (A...
Danny Shelton, a first-team All-American in 2015, was selected by the Browns with the 12th pick. (AP)
(AP)

Defensive tackle Danny Shelton was the first Washington Husky to be selected in the NFL Draft on a night when the school would see a record three taken in the first round.

Shelton was selected by the Browns with the 12th pick Thursday, and was later joined by former teammates Marcus Peters (18th, Kansas City), and Shaq Thompson (25th, Carolina).

Shelton was a key piece of Washington’s defense as a true freshman and started every game from his sophomore year on. It wasn’t until his senior season that the Auburn native emerged as a superstar for Washington, however.

He was named a first-team All-American in 2015 by USA Today, The Sporting News and SB Nation after ranking first in the country with five solo fumble recoveries, 14th with 16.5 tackles for loss and 19th with nine sacks. He also took first-team Academic All-America honors, the first Washington player to do so since 1991.

The 6-foot-2, 339-pound Shelton’s combination of size, power and skill have drawn him comparisons to All-Pro nose tackles Vince Wilfork and Haloti Ngata.

“Obviously a big kid with size,” Browns general manager Ray Farmer said of Shelton, according to the Browns’ official website. “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.”

It wasn’t just Shelton’s on-field performance and strength that drew the Browns to him, though.

“I love his temperament. I love how he played. I love that this kid is a smart kid, high GPA – high school and college,” Farmer said. “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.”

While Shelton’s accomplishments at Washington are well known, so is his story of heartbreak. Shortly before enrolling at UW in 2011, Shelton witnessed the shooting death of his brother and saved his own life by tackling the gunman and wresting away the weapon.

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