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Danny Shelton, DT

School: Washington  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Auburn, WA
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 339 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
5.643.211.9034 30 1/27'11"4.657.99
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • Chicago Bears | #7
    Any debate as to the direction of Chicago's pick could be answered if both of the top receivers are off the board. John Fox's allegiance lies on the defensive line anyway, and he and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio may see Shelton as the ideal building block at nose guard.
  • Cleveland Browns | #12
    With DeVante Parker still on the board, this pick could come down to a two-gapping nose tackle like Shelton or the potential No. 1 receiver with Parker. I think Cleveland would lean Shelton.
  • Cleveland Browns | #19
    After going receiver with their first pick, they take a run-stuffer here. They need to get better in a division that likes to run it.
  • Chicago Bears | #7
    His stock has fallen since the combine but look at what John Fox does when he arrives somewhere. He adds an impact defensive player who can flip his defense around. Shelton gives him an anchor in the middle of his defensive line and would immediately make the run defense and pass rush substantially better in Chicago.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Built like a Coke machine and he's just as tough to move. Natural wide-body with thick thighs that help him anchor, even against double-teams. Surprisingly coordinated and flexible despite his square-ish frame, frequently splitting double-teams to wreak havoc at the line of scrimmage, including blocking three kicks.

Possesses a powerful bull-rush to walk centers deep into the pocket and slides off blocks easily to grab hold ballcarriers nearby. Shelton is surprisingly light on his feet and plays with terrific effort in pursuit, rushing to the sidelines and downfield against the run and pass. He locates the football quickly and has a legitimate short-area burst to close.

Good strength for the pull down tackle and generates impressive momentum to collide with ballcarriers. He shows good awareness as a pass rusher, frequently leaping in an attempt to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage when unable to get to the quarterback (though he recorded just three PBUs during his UW career).

State champion in the shot put as a high school senior (60'1"). Three-year starter who played in every game of his collegiate career and has no known injury issues. Takes his academics seriously. Was named an Academic All-American in 2014, Washington's first since 1991. Named to the Academic All-Pac-12 squad as a junior.

WEAKNESSES: Not the pass rusher that his statistics indicate, showing little more than a standard bull-rush. Rarely incorporates spins or even swim moves into his repertoire.

Pad level rises as he tires and he can get knocked off the line of scrimmage when double-teamers coordinate their efforts and don't allow Shelton to split them. Needs to show greater awareness of cut blocks.

Tackle numbers are inflated by his hustling in pursuit. Weight needs to be held in check.

COMPARES TO: Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots - Shelton has a long way to go before justifying comparisons to the centerpiece of the Patriots' defense over the past decade, but both possess the thick frame, power and surprising agility to wreak havoc in the middle. Like Wilfork (who recorded 14 sacks at the University of Miami), don't expect Shelton to duplicate his pass rush success in the NFL.

--Rob Rang

Player Overview

Given Washington's 8-5 regular season record (including just 4-5 in the Pac-12), some might be surprised that the Huskies were loaded with NFL talent.

Most of the media attention was devoted to Shaq Thompson, who earned the Paul Hornung Trophy as the nation's most versatile player, and edge rusher Hau'oli Kikaha, whose 18 sacks over the regular season led the country. The first Husky selected in the 2015 NFL draft, however, could be the massive Shelton, whose build belies his motor and eye-popping production.

Shelton earned honorable mention all-conference honors following his sophomore and junior campaigns, steadily improving his numbers from 11 tackles to 45 in 2012 and an impressive 59 stops in 2013. Shelton switched from jersey No. 55 in 2014 (from No. 71), and enjoyed a breakout senior season by earning AP All-American honors with 89 tackles, including 16.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

Despite his production indicating otherwise, Shelton is not a consistent pass rush threat. He's a classic two-gap run-plugger with the bulk and brute strength to bull-rush opponents into the backfield.

What makes Shelton unique is his effort in pursuit. It wasn't uncommon for Shelton to sprint to the sideline or 10-plus yards downfield to stop ballcarriers. While scouts will appreciate this tenacity, critics wonder if this passion wasn't motivated by the lure of an NFL contract.

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Player News
05/05/2015 - A closer look at the Browns' 12 picks: Round 1/12 - Danny Shelton, NT, 6-3, 339, Washington...The Browns passed on drafting a pass rusher and a wide receiver to get help for their anemic run defense. Shelton was durable in college; he played in 52 straight games at Washington over four seasons. The Browns are looking at him as a three-down player, but his biggest value is as a run defender alongside Phil Taylor and Armonty Bryant. - The Sports Xchange


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