Browns sign top picks Danny Shelton, Cameron Erving to deals

CLEVELAND (AP) They were drafted the same night, introduced together the next day and snapped on new orange helmets and took the field as wide-eyed rookies last week for the first time.

So, it's fitting that Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving, the Browns' two first-round picks, both signed their rookie contracts on Friday. They're quite a twosome.

Financial terms of the four-year deals were not immediately available.

Despite a glaring need for a franchise quarterback and big-play wide receiver, the Browns used their two picks in this year's draft on Shelton and Erving, players they hope will be future cornerstones.

The 6-foot-2, 340-pound Shelton was taken No. 12 overall. The Browns intend to plug the former Washington standout into the middle of their line to fix a rushing defense that ranked last in the NFL last season.

That's fine with Shelton, who got off to a slow start in college but has matured and is now living out a childhood dream.

''It's always been in my head since I was little playing street football, I was thinking about playing in the NFL, but never doing the right things, never having that determination to be in the NFL right away,'' he said at the Browns' rookie mini-camp last week. ''And then when I got to high school, I started setting more goals and started competing more and started to improve and started to progress. I started competing against better people in college, and now I'm in the league competing against some of the best.''

Erving began last season as Florida State's left tackle but shifted to center, snapping to quarterback Jameis Winston. The No. 19 overall pick's versatility gives the Browns some options up front and a fallback plan should Pro Bowl center Alex Mack opt out of his contract after next season.

Last week, the Browns worked him out at guard as well as tackle and center.

The 6-foot-5, 313-pound Erving is confident wherever the Browns decide to put him.

''I'm an offensive lineman,'' he said. ''That's not being cocky. That's just somebody that takes pride in what they do.''

With Shelton and Erving signed, the Browns have now reached deals with eight of their league-high 12 draft picks.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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