Round 1 Pick 1: Myles Garrett, Edge, Texas A&M
Garrett has been linked by almost all analysts to be the clear-cut top prospect in the draft. Quarterback remains the Browns’ top priority but this is a case where the best overall player still fills a huge need for the team.
The defense currently ranks dead last in the league in team sacks with 21. The defense hasn’t been able to generate a consistent pass rush on opposing quarterbacks and it has led to big plays against the secondary. Garrett is freakishly athletic and will give the Browns the ability to line him up as a traditional defensive lineman or bring him off the edge as a stand-up rusher.
Garrett possesses all the tools to become a dominant pass rusher and be the cornerstone piece to transform the defense. Additionally, Garrett is still just 20 years old and won’t turn 21 until after A&M’s bowl game.
Garrett has rare pass rushing traits that don’t come around every year. He has the potential to post 10+ sack seasons for years to come in the AFC North. It is easy to compare Garrett to former A&M teammate Von Miller for their pure pass rushing ability. However, Miller measures in at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds compared to Garrett at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds. So imagine a hybrid player of Von Miller and Jadeveon Clowney and that’s how special Myles Garrett could be.
Round 1 Pick 9: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
The Browns defense is also in dire need for two starting safeties. Adams has shown the ability to play strongly against both the pass and run. His versatility to play near the line of scrimmage but also mirror and cover receivers makes him the top safety in this draft class. He is a physical tackler against the run and a ball hawk in the secondary.
NFL Network’s draft scout Daniel Jeremiah called Adams’ game similar to that of Pro Bowler Eric Berry, saying, “I don’t think he’s quite as fast as Berry was coming out of college, but he plays the game the same way. His combination of physicality, instincts and energy is very enticing. I love his aggression and passion for the game.”
Another comparison swirling around Adams is that of former LSU Tiger safety Tyrann Mathieu aka “Honey Badger.” Their style of showing rare instincts and hard-hitting ability draws for an easy comparison. However, Adams is significantly bigger than Mathieu at 6 feet tall, 211 pounds, compared to Mathieu at 5-foot-9, 186 pounds. Adams’ natural playmaking ability would give the Browns a game-changer in the secondary. The first two first-round selections would prove to be franchise-changing on the defensive side of the ball.