Daniel Saileupumoni Shelton (born August 20, 1993 [5] ) is an American football defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Browns in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Washington.

Early years

Shelton attended Auburn Senior High School in Auburn, Washington, where he played football and competed in track and wrestling. [6] He was a four-star recruit and the 10th best defensive tackle by Rivals.com. Shelton committed to play college football at the University of Washington in January 2011. [8]

He also participated in track & field as a thrower. He earned second-place finishes in both the shot put (54–3 or 16.58 m) and discus throw (155–7 or 47.50 m) at the 2010 West Central District 4A Championships. [9] As a senior, he won the state 4A shot put championship with a career-best throw of 18.31 meters (60–1).

College career

As a true freshman in 2011, he played in 13 games with one start and had 11 tackles. As a sophomore and junior in 2012 and 2013 he started every game at nose tackle for the Huskies. He recorded 45 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 2012 and 59 tackles and two sacks in 2013. Shelton entered 2014 as a starter for the third straight year. [10] He recorded four sacks against Eastern Washington, which was more than he had combined the previous three seasons and the most for a Huskies player since 1989, earning him first team AP All-America. [2] He finished the season with nine sacks. Shelton was also a member of the Huskies' track and field team.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 2 1 8 in
(1.88 m)
339 lb
(154 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
10 1 4 in
(0.26 m)
5.64 s 1.90 s 3.21 s 4.65 s 7.99 s 30 1 2 in
(0.77 m)
7 ft 11 in
(2.41 m)
34 reps
All values from NFL Combine

On April 30, 2015, Shelton was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 12th overall selection of the first round in the 2015 NFL Draft. When meeting with Roger Goodell on stage, he hugged the commissioner and lifted him off the ground in excitement. Shelton was the University of Washington's first defensive lineman selected in the first round of a NFL draft since Steve Emtman in 1992. On May 12, 2015, Shelton signed a four-year deal worth $11.7 million. [2] [2] In 16 games of his rookie season, Shelton played 16 games with 36 tackles.

After center Alex Mack left the team in free agency during the 2016 offseason, Shelton changed his jersey number from 71 to 55, which was previously worn by Mack. [14] Shelton had wanted the number since being drafted by the Browns but opted for his college 71 since 55 was unavailable. He explained he wanted to adorn 55 as tributes to his brother Shennon and former NFL linebacker Junior Seau, both of whom have died and have worn 55 while playing football. [14] In 2016, he started all 16 games with 59 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

On February 23, 2017, Shelton underwent a minor wrist surgery. [2]

Personal life

Shelton's mother is Samoan, and his father is Peruvian. [2] He often speaks with pride about his Samoan heritage and dons a lavalava, a traditional Polynesian cloth worn like a kilt or skirt. [2]

On May 1, 2011, Shelton and his brothers were involved in an altercation at an apartment complex in Auburn, Washington. According to a release, Shelton's brother, Gaston Shelton, was at a friend's apartment when a fight between a group of men broke out. While Gaston was recording the incident on his cell phone he was punched and struck the man back. Three men, including a man named Olenthis Woods, assaulted Gaston causing multiple cuts. After the attack, Gaston called his wife and told her to tell Danny and his brothers that he was jumped. Danny and his brothers Kevin and Shennon then arrived at the complex along with a cousin and a friend. The six men then began to search for Olenthis Woods. After they approached his home, Woods' mother and sister attempted to have them leave while Woods himself went inside his home to retrieve a handgun. Gaston and Shennon Shelton stood at the front door while the others surrounded the sides of the house. Woods then shot Gaston Shelton in the chest after telling him to back up. Shennon Shelton then lunged at Woods and was shot in the head, causing his death. Although Gaston would survive, Auburn prosecutors decided not to charge Olenthis Woods, deeming his actions to be in self-defense. [2]

See also