And this offseason, he went under the knife to repair a nagging wrist injury that he felt was holding him back.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Shelton's agent said the procedure was just a "small cleanup."
The ascension of Shelton, combined with the 8.5 sacks posted by rookies Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbahand the prospect of adding an additional pass rusher with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft can at least leave some breadcrumbs of hope for Cleveland fans this offseason. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams wasn't going to replace Ray Horton without a specific vision for their unit, which will likely involve a switch in name back to the 4-3 front.
Of course, with most teams playing a majority of their snaps in the Nickel, that will involve rethinking the way the Browns can deploy their 2015 first-round pick. Shelton was most frequently used in the base 3-4 front last year, with a little more than 200 snaps in a standard three-lineman, three-linebacker, five-defensive back Nickel front.