The Browns drafted Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton 12th overall and Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving 19th overall Thursday night in the first round of the NFL Draft.



General Manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine discussed the picks during a news conference. Below is a transcript provided by the team.



On the Browns liked about DL Danny Shelton over other players in the draft:



Farmer:“We liked the size. We liked the fact that as an interior run-stopper, he had girth, quickness, agility, strength to clog up the middle and be an impact player and press the pocket from the interior.”



On why the Browns selected an offensive lineman with the No. 19 selection and where Erving may fit in:



Farmer:“As rule of thumb, teams find a lot of ways to win games. From my perspective, I think our competitive advantage right now for the offense is the offensive line. To bolster that group, we took the guy that we thought had the most additional versatility and the skillset for who we wanted to be.”



On if the Browns looked at trading up from the No. 12 pick:



Farmer:“I think that we took a look at a lot of things. The reality for us is that as we looked at the draft and looked at kind of how things were going to fall, I think we were pretty consistent with what was going to happen. With that, we kind of knew where we would be and us moving up wasn’t a major factor in where we’d go. We listened to people about moving back, but the way it fell, it was the right pick.”



On selecting a defensive player first in back-to-back years:



Pettine:“When we talked about building a team, you are in every game if you are solid defensively. That will obviously be a cornerstone. We were thrilled that we were able to add a player wh0ere we felt like the value met the need. Thrilled that Danny is here, and then obviously, in regards to the second pick, I am a firm believer, as Ray has already expressed, that you build your team through your lines. I know these aren’t the two sexiest picks when you are taking guys that aren’t ‘skill players.’ We prefer to call them ‘big skill.’ We are thrilled because we know with a great degree of certainty that the Cleveland Browns got better tonight.”



On when last year that the Browns knew they had to fix things for the run defense in the draft:



Pettine:“To me, it was a consistency thing. There was never one point where we said we had to fix this. We felt that we were talented enough, but we had some injury issues. There were some things that after the season we looked at, you go back and isolate all those plays and look at the explosive run cut ups and the negative plays that you gave up and try to diagnose why. We do that on a weekly basis during the season, but it is better when the dust settles from the season and go back and do it. I wouldn’t say there was any one point. It was an obvious area of concern during the times that it did happen when we gave up some big rushing games. When the season ended, when we looked at us, we felt great where we were in the secondary but obviously needed to bolster the front.”



On what position OL Cameron Erving will begin his career:



Pettine: “That is to be determined. We will get him here. That is the beauty of kind of what his skillset is. Here is a guy who can play multiple positions. We are probably pretty set on the left side and at center so I’m sure we will have to get that sorted out as far as where on the right side where we will likely start him out.”



On if Erving could potentially be a future replacement for OL Alex Mack, given his contract situation:



Farmer:“Like Mike said, the reality for is that we took a guy who we felt like could play all along the offensive line. Regardless of where he gets inserted, it is a positive for us. Like I said, our competitive advantage right now offensively is our ability to dictate pace because of our offensive line so bolstering that group really was the impetus behind the pick.”



On if Shelton reminds Pettine of DL Haloti Ngata during his time with the Ravens:



Pettine: “In some ways – the explosiveness and just from a size standpoint, he is a little taller. You watch the tape and you isolate certain plays, and they are playing like their hair is on fire. We talk about Play Like a Brown attributes, and you can check a lot off the list with Danny.



On if Shelton is strictly a run stopper or if he can play on third down:



Pettine: “I think he can play on third down. He did have nine sacks. When you can push the pocket and eliminate the step-up option for the quarterback, you will find your edges suddenly become more productive. If he is not getting production, he is causing production. The other good thing, too, is if there is a threat of a run on third down, you can put Shelton out there and a bunch of small guys around him and know that he can be disrupt versus any run scheme and they you can tee off with everybody else to attack the quarterback.”



On what the Browns liked about Erving:



Farmer: “When I evaluate offensive linemen, the first thing I look at is the guy’s feet. His foot-fire – it’s an interesting term – his ability to move his feet or pat his feet – some people call offensive linemen dancing bears – but he really had some of the best feet in this draft, period. All the linemen, looking at all of them, his ability to move his feet and move his hands was unique in a lot of ways. The combination of his foot quickness, his length and his strength all added up to a good NFL player, specifically for what we like to do.”



On if Erving can play all positions on the offensive line:



Farmer: “The guy played left tackle last year at Florida State and then during the middle of the season got pushed and had never snapped the ball and went to offensive center and looked like he was an All-Pro center and had never played the position. The versatility that the guy provides is unique. I will say that it is a staple for us that we like players who are non-scheme dependent; they can play in anybody’s scheme, whether it’s a gap scheme, a power scheme or a zone. We like guys who can play in that capability, and he is one of those guys. Whether you took him and wanted to run downhill at people or whether you wanted to run laterally, the guy has a skill-set that allows him to play in any of those schemes and at a variety of positions. He is a valuable guy in that way.”



On resisting the temptation to pick a wide receiver or another ‘splash’ player on offense:



Farmer: “I guess I’ll answer the question, it’s probably easier for me. There were multiple players in the conversation for when we took those selections. Offensive skill splash were definitely in those conversations. Again, to me, you have to create your identity and who you want to be and make sure that is intact before you start adding the requisite pieces. The offensive skill is something that I think we have here. When you look at who we have, we have two rookies last year that will be second year players at the running back position. They rushed for a combination of what I think was 1,273 yards, 12 touchdowns, make that offensive line even more consistent and better, those guys may be even more productive in their second season. Our wide receivers, in my opinion – I don’t know if somebody can give me something different – but I thought they more than held their own last year. We bolstered that group in free agency. We feel like we’re even better in that spot. At the end of the day, it starts up front. If we can control the line of scrimmage and dictate pace, make people put eight in the box and give our wide receivers one-on-ones, then it’s a balancing game. You have to pick which way you want to play.”



On Shelton picking up NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being drafted:

Pettine: “I haven’t seen that before (laughter). The look of panic on Roger’s face was quite interesting.”



On if the Browns made an offer to the Titans to move up to No. 2:

Farmer: “No. No. No. Again, I’ve tried to tell people without telling them specifically, but the answer is no. There were no conversations of trading.”



Pettine:“I didn’t either.”



On if there was a need to get a pass rusher early in the draft:



Pettine: “You never want to talk about feeling need because then you start to stray from a board standpoint. We have players identified that kind of clustered around where we’re picking that we feel great about. A lot of times, it gets dictated by what other teams do and what players you have available. Going back to Tony (Grossi)’s question, offensive skill was very much in the conversation, but it’s the way the board fell to us.”



On if there were inquiries on trading up when Leonard Williams fell to Washington:



Farmer: “We had several conversations about where is the right place to take a chance on several players in the draft. It was our contention there was a cluster, if you will, of players that if they made it to a certain point, you would start to really get more intrigued about what that cost was. At the end of the day, sometimes that cost is prohibitive, sometimes you think, OK, we might want to consider this, and before you know it next thing, that name is off the board and what you were talking about has now disappeared. I think there are always those conversations that take place, the reality is that until it makes sense for everybody in the room to say, ‘OK, let’s give up this asset to move forward,’ we were content to hold our water knowing what was going to come our way.”



On what the Browns have learned about depth at receiver class that can be utilized tomorrow:



Farmer: “Again, every draft is unique. I will say that oddly enough, I think you’re starting to see it now in the draft that offensive linemen were kind of some of the players in this draft that people were going to covet, the number of guys that have gone. I think the same thing is true: there is going to be runs on different positions. When certain guys start to go at different positions, you’ll see other teams start to clamor to scoop up the next guy just to make sure that they get one in that next cluster of players. It’s a balancing act, you have to take your shots where you can get them, and we think we’re in a good position to get the guys that we want to get.”



On visualizing the muscle that will occur with Shelton playing next to DL Phil Taylor



Pettine: “Yeah, when we’re watching the end zone copy and we’re wearing white pants, it’ll be two big white spots right in the middle of the screen. We’re thrilled, again, to have that skillset in the middle. Phil obviously had the injury and we’re hopeful to get him back at 100 percent, but there is some uncertainty there. We did adjust a few things schematically but felt that we needed that big guy in the middle. We’re also hopeful that Kitch (DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen) can step up and be productive for us, as well, and when we get into real obvious run situations that we can put a pretty heavy front out there.”



On addressing the return game in the draft:



Farmer: “Again, from my perspective I feel there are guys on this roster that can return the football. Again, I’d be remised if I didn’t say this: (WR) Travis Benjamin coming off of a knee last year, any time a guy comes off an injury like that – I guess I’m qualified to speak on this; I had 11 knee surgeries in my time – you’re never the same right away. Most guys recover better in the second year, and you’ll see a difference. I’m not knocking what Travis did because I do think the guy was productive for us and did a lot of really good things for us. The reality is I think he’ll be even better this year. At the end of the day, I think that is what it comes down to. You have to give guys an opportunity to demonstrate what they can do. At least I feel comfortable where we are at the moment.”