The Browns selected Pittsburgh defensive end Jabaal Sheard tonight in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft with the 37th overall pick. Browns Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield announced the pick.
The 6-foot-2, 254-pound Sheard had 142 tackles, including 35.5 for loss, and 19.5 sacks in his career at Pitt. He compiled 52 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss, and nine sacks last year as a senior. He was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
"I think I'm aggressive," Sheard said via phone. "I know how to get to the quarterback, and I'm a hard worker. I'm gonna get the job done."
The Browns have used their first two draft picks this year to bolster their defensive front as they convert to new defensive coordinator Dick Jauron's 4-3 scheme. The Browns also selected Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor in the first round with the 21st overall pick.
"I think that's great," Sheard said. "I'd love for (Taylor) to be in the middle. I know they're gonna have to double team him (and) give me a little freedom on the edge. I think we're gonna be a great package."
Sheard was arrested this past July after he allegedly threw a man through the glass door of an art gallery. He said he was trying to break up a fight between a man and one of his younger teammates. Sheard was suspended from the team but reinstated before the season started.
"I think I learned a lot from that," Sheard said. "Going into my senior year, I knew I had to make it up to my teammates. I was a senior, and my team needed some leadership, so I just stepped up and played as hard as I could and tried to prevent my other teammates from getting in trouble and just doing whatever it took to get it done, for us to win.
"I stayed after hours and invited the younger guys to stay with me and catch film or work off the field. I was always just trying to do something to improve our team, and I think that's why my teammates voted me team captain.
He was sidelined during the BBVA Compass Bowl in January because he had surgery on his left elbow. Sheard said he had been dealing with the injury since high school and played with it all through college. He said he had to have it repaired because doctors told him it would be red-flagged at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"It's ready to go now," Sheard said. "I'm strengthening it, working on getting my strength back. I'm ready to go."
When Sheard was 11-years-old, he rescued an elderly woman from her burning home in Florida. He received a bravery medal.