The New England Patriots quickly addressed their need at defensive tackle by replacing Alan Branch on their defensive front.
The Patriots reportedly acquired defensive tackle Danny Shelton from the Cleveland Browns in a trade, sources told ESPN’s Field Yates and Adam Schefter. The Patriots will get Shelton and a 2018 fifth-round NFL Draft pick, while the Browns will receive a third-round 2019 selection, according to Yates and Schefter.
Shelton, a Washington Huskies product, was the 12th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has 128 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one pass breakup in 46 career games. He had 33 tackles and one pass breakup in 14 games last season.
Shelton has excelled against the run throughout his career. He took on a more complete role in 2016, when he had 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits and 12 hurries on passing downs.
Shelton, 24, has upside based on his athleticism at his size. At 6-foot-2, 335 pounds, he ran a 5.64-second 40-yard dash, 7.99-second 3-cone, 4.65-second short shuttle, 30.5-inch vertical leap and 7-foot, 11-inch broad jump with 34 bench press reps at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine.
Shelton joins Malcom Brown, Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and Vincent Valentine on the Patriots’ defensive tackle depth chart. He has a $2 million base salary in 2018. The Patriots will need to decide if they want to pick up his and Brown’s 2019 fifth-year options by May 2. Both will cost upwards of $7 million.