The New England Patriots had been in the hunt for an enormous physique to anchor their defensive position.
The acquisition of Danny Shelton from the Cleveland Browns in March appeared to suit the invoice, though the Patriots suppose a slimmed-down Shelton can be a significantly better match.
A former first-round choose (No. 12 general) of the Browns in 2015, Shelton is generously listed at 6-foot-2, 335 kilos. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that he weighs way more and is working to get again all the way down to 335 for the upcoming season.
“That is what I am extra specializing in,” Shelton instructed NBC Sports activities Boston, “and that is what I like concerning the change is that my physique will likely be extra skilled for the endurance and skilled for fourth quarter, additional time.”
Shelton began 44 of 46 video games throughout his three seasons in Cleveland, taking part in at each nostril deal with and defensive deal with. He mentioned he is already seeing the advantages of New England’s rigorous conditioning program.
“My physique’s adjusting to all of the working, man,” mentioned Shelton. “It is fairly loopy. However I prefer it. … I’ve solely been on one crew and I’ve solely completed one offseason program. Now that I am right here, it is fairly cool to vary it up a bit and simply watch my physique change.”
The Patriots had a necessity at defensive deal with after declining to select up the contract possibility on Alan Department. The price was comparatively low cost — a third-round choose within the 2019 NFL Draft in alternate for Shelton and a fifth-rounder this yr.
Shelton, who began all 16 video games in 2016 and recorded a career-high 59 tackles and 1.5 sacks, is aware of he nonetheless faces an uphill climb — actually. A part of New England’s conditioning program includes working hills behind the follow discipline.
“Simply getting my thoughts prepared for it,” mentioned Shelton, who had 34 tackles in 14 contests (13 begins) final season. “We’ve not gotten to that half. It’s deceiving. It does not look too powerful. However simply listening to from among the guys, it isn’t one thing you need to mess with.”