The Browns are increasingly likely to secure the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft (Football Outsiders gives Cleveland an 80.5% chance of picking first), and instead of targeting a quarterback, the club may look to improve its defense with the selection. The Cleveland front office has an “astronomical grade” on Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
Garrett, 20, is listed as the top 2017 collegiate prospect on nearly every draft guru’s big board, and is a lock to be chosen in the top-five of next year’s draft. At 6’5″, 265 pounds, Garrett should have the ability to play either defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or outside linebacker in a 3-4 look, and the Browns (who play the latter front), are reportedly “enamored” with the Aggie junior, per Schefter.
Although he’s been hampered by an early-season ankle injury, Garrett has still managed to post 8.5 sacks in nine games this year, bringing his career total to 31 in 33 contests.A first-team All-American in 2016, Garrett has previously been compared to NFL pass rushers such as Von Miller, Joey Bosa, and the retired Javon Kearse. “Generational player. Nothing he can’t do. Scheme-wrecker. Complete player,” one area scout told Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com earlier this year.
The Browns aren’t completely abandoning the idea of drafting a quarterback early, however, and scout Lake Dawson has been spending an “inordinate” amount of time in South Bend scouting Notre Dame signal-caller DeShone Kizer, reports Schefter, who notes that Cleveland does hold an extra first-round pick thanks to a trade with Philadelphia. Previous reports have also indicated that the Browns are focusing their efforts on North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky, another projected first-round pick.
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