Myles Garrett made real strides last season, showing why he deserved to be the number one draft pick in 2017. Will he continue to grow in 2019? Here’s what to expect from Garrett next season.
Myles Garrett is one of the best defensive ends in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns took him with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, and he has so far lived up to the hype. While injuries stopped his rookie season from being what it could have been, he still managed to get seven sacks in 11 games, including one on his first regular season snap in the league.
In 2018, Myles Garrett greatly improved, showing the Browns that they were right in taking him. The best move former Browns head coach Hue Jackson might have made during his career in Cleveland was convincing owner Jimmy Haslam to take Garrett over Mitchell Trubisky. Garrett finally played a full 16 games in his second season in the NFL, totaling 13.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three passes defended, 44 tackles, and 12 tackles for loss.
Garrett had 13.5 of the Browns 37 total sacks, which was roughly 36.49 percent of the team’s sacks in 2018. The next highest player was Larry Ogunjobi with 5.5 sacks, which was roughly 14.87 percent of the team’s sacks. In comparison, fellow Texas A&M alumni Von Miller had 14.5 sacks this season for the Broncos, which was roughly 32.95 percent of the Broncos’ total sacks.
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Garrett has emerged as arguably the most important player on the Browns defense, and arguably the most talented too. The comparison to Miller shows the impact he has on the Browns pass rush capacities. If Garrett is able to get loose and after the quarterback, the team shines. Now, onto predicting next season. What should you expect out of him this season?
The Browns main problem was a lack of production out of any of the other edge rushers the team had last season. Opposing offensive coordinators could game-plan for stopping Garrett in the pass rush and have a confident feeling that it wouldn’t leave them vulnerable anywhere else. However, Browns general manager John Dorsey has addressed this by adding Olivier Vernon to come off the opposite edge.
Teams can no longer just slide all of their protections to Garrett or send their running back to chip him on every long passing down without paying respect to the other edge rusher. Considering this, and the fact that Garrett will be able to do more than two moves, expect Garrett to put up some huge numbers this season. Pass rushing is an art and no artist should ever be confined to just two styles of brushes or paints.
With all of what has been considered, new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks should also be considered a major advantage for Garrett. According to Will Brinson, Steve Wilks blitzed on 44.5 percent of plays last season. Effective blitzes are the best way to rattle a quarterback and get sacks, and with Garrett’s speed off the edge and his ability with his hands, he should be the first man to the quarterback on many of those blitzes.
Now, time to make a prediction. Garrett last season almost tripled his career sack total by going from seven to 20.5. Would it be too crazy to say that he almost doubles his career sack total this year? Getting 20 sacks is an almost impossible feat. Since 2000, only six players have made 20+ sacks in a season, those being Michael Strahan, Jared Allen, Justin Houston, Aaron Donald, Demarcus Ware, and JJ Watt twice.
I would say that Garrett will end up with between 14-15 sacks next season, give or take. However, I would not be surprised if he ends up in that elite group of pass rushers with 20 sacks in a season. If there’s anyone in the NFL poised to join that club, it is Myles Garrett.