The Cleveland Browns will look to continue their rebuilding efforts during the 2017 NFL Draft. Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett could be a player on the team’s radar.
There is only one week remaining in the 2016 NFL regular season and the Cleveland Browns still do not know their final draft position.
This much we do know: the Browns are guaranteed to pick no worse than No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft and they hold a second first-round pick courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Where those picks fall will not be determined until after the final week of the season. If the Browns lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers, or win and then hope the San Francisco 49ers upset the Seattle Seahawks, then the Browns will lead off the draft with the first overall selection.
As for the second pick in the first round, the Browns would currently pick at No. 10. But to hold onto that spot they need the Eagles to lose their final game to the Dallas Cowboys, who have already clinched home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs.
Since draft talk is always welcome in Cleveland, and bowl season is in full swing, this is a great time to get one last look at some draft prospects at positions of need for the Browns in game action.
The Browns have the makings of something special on along the defensive front seven with Danny Shelton, Emmanuel Ogbah, Christian Kirksey and, if they can resign him, Jamie Collins.
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What they are still missing, however, is that one player that opposing offenses must account for on each and every play.
The Browns can fix that problem once and for all by simply selecting Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the first overall pick. (If the Browns have that pick and Garrett enters the draft, both of which are fortunately highly likely.)
Garrett, who is 6-foot-5 and 262 pounds, is as close to a no-brainer pick as there may be in the upcoming draft despite an ankle injury that limited him to just nine games. He still finished the season with 8.5 sacks, bringing his college career total to 31.
Garrett is more than just a pass rusher, however, according to Pro Football Focus:
"“… the best pass-rusher in the draft in Garrett who graded at 91.0 as a rusher this season despite playing while banged up for much of the year. He has the burst, bend and power that teams are looking for off the edge and his three-year production is outstanding. Coming into the year, we wanted to see Garrett improve against the run and he did just that by grading at 86.8 to finish fourth among all edge defenders.”"
Garrett, a unanimous All-American selection, also earned high praise from Rob Rang at CBS Sports:
"Finding true weaknesses for Garrett is tough duty as he’s a remarkable talent destined for an early pick if he can remain healthy. The NFL team fortunate enough to draft Garrett will have the luxury of using him as a traditional hand-in-the-dirt defensive end or stand-up rusher. He projects as a 10-plus sack-a-season edge rusher in the NFL and would have almost surely leapt Joey Bosa to be the first non-quarterback selected in 2016, had he been eligible."
While it may be hard for the Browns to pass on a quarterback with the first of their two picks in the opening round, the thought of Garett joining Shelton, Ogbah and others to terrorize quarterbacks for the next decade is a pleasant one.
Texas A&M will be in action on Dec. 28 at 9 p.m. when they take on Kansas State in the Texas Bowl.