The Cleveland Browns are expected to make Myles Garrett the top selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. If they do, they will not have a fan in Warren Sapp.
The 2017 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday night in Philadelphia with the Cleveland Browns poised to open the night with the No. 1 overall selection.
After months of speculation that the Browns would squander their draft assets in a trade for New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo – he of the most magical six quarters of play in NFL history – or use them on North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky – who will save his “hometown team” despite only starting 13 games in college – the Browns are expected to do the right thing and select Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with that first pick.
Related: Draft profile: Myles Garrett
If they do, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown should not expect a congratulatory phone call, email, text, Tweet or Telegram from former defensive lineman turned TV analyst Warren Sapp.
To put it mildly, Sapp is not a fan of Garrett, according to a story from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, where Sapp pull no punches about the consensus top pick:
"“I don’t see it from this kid. I see the splash plays; everybody gets those. Where’s the game he took over? Where? Any defensive lineman who’s the No. 1 pick, you turn up and you say, ‘There it is!’ This kid, no, I don’t. I’m a pretty plain and frank guy, and I watch the tape and he disappears. I watch the tape, and he absolutely disappears."
"“It’s all about measurable. Once you hit the measurable, it’s tough to get them old scout people off the numbers, and that’s what [Garrett] has. He’s big, and he’s fast. Now some defensive line coach is thinking, ‘I can turn him into something.’ How? I’m trying to figure this out. Really? Are we lowering the bar?"
"“I see a lazy kid that makes four plays a game. This is the No. 1 guy? No, no, no. This ain’t even close.”"
Sapp isn’t saying anything that we haven’t heard before. If there is one aspect of Garrett’s game that critics have latched onto during the offseason is that he “doesn’t try” every game.
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For a player who allegedly did not give his maximum effort, Garrett still managed to average 10.3 sacks and 15.7 tackles for loss during his three seasons at Texas A&M. He also finished his collegiate career with 31 sacks, which is the second most among SEC players during the past 10 years.
It also fails to take into account that Garrett played a large part of the 2016 with a high-ankle sprain and that the college game is different from the NFL in that teams run far more plays on offense, meaning that even the best defensive players need to catch their breath from time to time.
The one interesting takeaway from Sapp’s comments is that the “old scout people” love Garrett’s game. We’ve been told for months that computers and “spreadsheets” are running the Browns – not actual people – so to hear that actual NFL scouts like Garrett is a nice change.
Luckily most of the nonsense will start to fade away come Thursday night, although their will still be people who criticize the Browns if the select Garrett and those who will criticize them if they pass.
Sashi Brown showed this past week that he has a sense of humor in all this, so hopefully he saves a wink and a smile for Sapp after the Browns make Garrett the top selection in this year’s draft.