Round 1, Pick 1: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
The Browns will decide to pass on a quarterback with the No. 1 overall selection because Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett may be a transcendent player for the defense.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Garrett is, according to NFL.com, an “elite edge rusher who possesses rare explosiveness and the fluid-movement skills and agility of an NBA shooting guard. Good size, but he’s never likely going to be a hold-your-ground run defender, and might be best suited as an outside linebacker. However, his ability to explode into the backfield through a gap or around the edge gives him disruptive potential on every snap. His pass-rush production and athletic traits point toward an all-pro career.”
Garrett also received high praise from Pro Football Focus:
"If he continues to add strength, his work against the run and as a power pass-rusher will only increase his value, but as of now, Garrett has all of the tools in the toolbox to be one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL and he’s shown the ability to use those tools on the field for three years. That’s what separates Garrett from other prospects who may have the athleticism but no production and others who have refined technique and strong college production but may lack the physical ability to improve at the next level. Garrett has both production and athleticism on his side, and that is what will make him so dangerous in the NFL."
The Browns have not had a dominant pass rusher since Clay Matthews (who last played with Cleveland in 1993) and Garrett can fix the problem from the moment he steps on the field.
Round 1, Pick 12: Solomon Thomas, Stanford
Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas definitely caught the attention of Browns fans who tuned into the Sun Bowl expecting to witness North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s rise to the top the draft, but instead were treated to a disruptive force on defense.
The 6-foot-3 and 275-pound Thomas has been compared to Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, who is very familiar to former Rams and current Cleveland defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
According to his draft profile at NFL.com, Thomas is an:
"Explosive defender who combines strength, quickness, and a muscle-car motor to drive him around the field making play after play. Has the hands and feet to be a quick-win specialist and the size to fit as a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive end who can reduce inside for pass-rush downs. He has all the athletic traits to become a high-impact player and possesses more than enough skill and talent to believe he will continue to elevate his game as a pro. Thomas has the potential to become the best defender from this draft class and a future all-pro."
Pair Thomas and Garrett in the first round, mix in Ogbah, Shelton and Nassib, and suddenly the Browns have the makings of a dominant front line on the defensive side of the ball.