Ranking the Browns biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

The Cleveland Browns have found some gems in the draft over the last 10 years

Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
7 of 7

1. Myles Garrett, DE

Want to hear a funny story? There were actually some people who thought the Browns should skip on Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall in 2017.

Believe it or not, there was a large contingent that felt Derek Barnett was just as good — if not better — as rushing the quarterback as Garrett. As if that wasn't enough, there were even more fans who thought the Browns should go for Mitchell Trubisky.

The argument was that Cleveland would never get anywhere without a quarterback, but we all know what the driving force was — Trubsiky was from Mentor, Ohio and the proud Ohio fan base wanted the home grown kid.

Thankfully, the Browns didn't listen to any of this as they took Garrett first overall. Since being selected, he's not only met expectations, he's absolutely shattered them.

Garrett has been so good in his career that his seven sacks in 11 games as a rookie constitute a poor performance for him. Outside of that season, he's never had fewer than 10 sacks in a year and already owns the franchise record for the most in a single season (16, which he did in 2021 and 2022) and in a career (88.5).

He's also been able to put his name in the NFL record books now that he took home the 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.

That 2017 draft class was one for the ages. While players such as Trubisky, Solomon Thomas (No. 3 overall pick), and even Derek Barnett (No. 14 to Philadelphia) were busts, guys such as Garrett, David Njoku, Christian McCaffrey, and Patrick Mahomes turned out to be superstars.

More Browns coverage