The Cleveland Browns continue to show that they are evolving into a smart franchise by selecting Myles Garrett with the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns opened the 2017 NFL Draft by selecting Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garret with the No. 1 overall pick.
It is the first time that the Browns have had the first pick in the draft since 2000, a year that saw them select defensive end Courtney Brown.
Garrett immediately becomes the best Browns defensive player in almost a quarter century as he is the kind of disruptive force that opposing offenses must account for at all times.
According to his draft profile at NFL.com, Garrett is 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. Garrett still needs to fine-tune his pass-rush strategy and could stand to give more consistent effort from the start of the snap until the whistle. But his pass-rush production and athletic traits point toward an all-pro career."
Garrett finished his collegiate career averaging 10.3 sacks and 15.7 tackles for loss during his three seasons at Texas A&M. He also finished with 31 career sacks, which is the second most among SEC players during the past 10 years.
The selection of Garrett ends weeks of speculation that the Browns would somehow manage to squander the top pick, either by foolishly trading it to the New England Patriots for backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, or by having owner Jimmy Haslam force executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown to select a quarterback, most notably North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky.
But Brown said earlier this week that Cleveland had already locked in the top pick weeks ago and he was able to shut out all the noise and pick a true impact player. It is a move that if you have been paying attention to what’s been going on in Berea for the past 14 months was never in doubt.
It also means that life just got a whole lot tougher for quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens and Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals, who now have to face Garrett twice a season.
Barring a trade, the Browns will be back on the clock in the first round at pick No. 12.