With the Cleveland Browns’ loss this weekend to the Cincinnati Bengals, they’re currently sitting at 0-13 and inching closer to clinching the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. For any organization as starved for a franchise QB as the Browns have been for what seems like an eternity now, it’s naturally tempting to consider using that pick on a QB. The Browns will likely eye a number of QB prospects over the next several months, including Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer and Deshaun Watson.
But ultimately, their decision should be an easy one — it starts and ends with Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett.
Garrett is the best defensive prospect I’ve seen in years — as a matter of fact, it’s hard to remember the last time we saw an edge rusher of Garrett’s caliber, and as the scouting process continues, Garrett will likely earn the “generational talent” tag. Reports were released on Sunday that claimed the Browns have an “astronomical grade” on Garrett, and they should. He’s that good. While it’s Garrett’s explosive first step that’s his most impressive quality, Garrett has worked hard to develop a variety of complementary pass rush moves that have terrorized NCAA OL’s all year long, and kept him from earning the one-trick pony label.
Check out this spin move that results in a QB hit and incomplete pass.
Besides his speed which we’ve already touched on, Garrett’s strength is equally as impressive — here, he pushes the LT back into the pocket and disengages at the opportune moment to record the sack.
Garrett is about as good at disengaging when around the ball as any prospect you’ll ever see. I’ve shown you how good Garrett is at getting to the QB, but he’s equally as effective versus the run — watch him disengage here to make the stop behind the line of scrimmage on third and short.
Besides the physical skill-set that pops on tape, Garrett also possesses a high football IQ — check him out here sniffing this screen early and killing the play where it starts. He recognizes the screen, stops his rush to cover the intended receiver, and busts up the play which results in a sack for one of his teammates.
We’ve all seen the impact a blue chip pass rusher can have in today’s up tempo, pass happy NFL — no example shined brighter than Von Miller’s MVP performance in Super Bowl 50 — Miller was terrific all season long, and really catapulted the Broncos to their first title in over 15 years.
No matter who the Browns select on April 27th, the 2017 Browns are going to be a bad unit. The 2016 Browns need help all over the field, and no one player is going to change that. The Browns are in a deep rebuild that needs three more years (if things go according to plan) to stack talent at every position.
The defense is no exception to that statement — they’ve posted a league low 21.0 sacks through 13 games [Garrett posted 8.5 sacks in 10 games in 2016], while giving up 146.2 yards on the ground per game, good for 31st in the NFL
So while the allure of a franchise QB is always tempting, the Browns would be best served to give Cody Kessler another chance while selecting the best player in the 2017 NFL Draft, regardless of his position — and the best player is Myles Garrett. When the Browns are on the clock, it should take them all of thirty seconds to hand in their draft card — and if the card begins with the letters ‘QB,’ they’ve made the wrong decision.