Myles Garrett

Browns Sign No. 1 Overall Pick Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett is officially a member of the Browns. The No. 1 overall pick has signed his rookie deal, according to a team announcement. Myles Garrett Browns

As dictated by his slot, Garrett’s four-year deal is worth $30.412MM with a hefty signing bonus of $20.258MM. The rookie will be well-compensated, but he’ll also be one of the position’s best bargains over the next four years if he is anywhere near as good as evaluators believe him to be. The market for defensive ends is presently sky-high with contracts exceeding $15MM per year for top earners like Muhammad Wilkerson, J.J. WattOlivier Vernon, and Jason Pierre-Paul.

The deal includes offset language, a source tells Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). This means the Browns can save some money if they wind up releasing the No. 1 pick at some point during his rookie deal. In that (unlikely) event, the Browns would get out of some of their obligation if Garrett’s signs with a new club. For example, if Garrett has $4MM in guaranteed money left on his contract at the time of his release and he signs with a new club on a $1MM deal, the Browns will only be on the hook for $3MM, with the new team making up the difference.

Garrett was the consensus top prospect in the 2017 draft for months, but the Browns tried to throw the football world a curve by giving some reporters the impression that UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky was a consideration on draft day. Ultimately, the Browns made the selection that was widely seen as a no-brainer. Garrett is believed to be about as much of a can’t-miss prospect as you can get in the draft and all signs are pointing to a Pro Bowl career in his future.

Garrett figures to be a Week 1 starter for the Browns at defensive end with second-year DE Emmanuel Ogbah at the other bookend.

Browns Select Myles Garrett With No. 1 Pick

After what was reportedly ample internal debate, the Browns have officially selected Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick.Myles Garrett Browns

Garrett had been the consensus top prospect in the 2017 draft for some time, as nearly every draft board listed the Aggie pass rusher atop the list. Both of PFR’s mock drafts projected Garrett to Cleveland, as did most of the draft community, but the Browns’ need for a franchise quarterback seemingly invaded the club’s recent thinking. Cleveland’s front office was reportedly also considering North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the first overall selection — perhaps at the behest of owner Jimmy Haslam — and may still trade up from pick No. 12 in order to secure the signal-caller.

Instead of opting for a passer, however, the Browns have selected Garrett, who’s viewed as an eminently safe pick with the upside of one of the NFL’s best defenders. Cleveland had placed an “astronomical grade” on Garrett during the 2016 collegiate football season, and was subsequently “blown away” by Garrett’s combine performance: he weighed in at 272 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds, and posted 33 bench press reps.

Garrett boasts the measurables of a No. 1 overall pick, and his statistical production at Texas A&M was also eye-popping. In three seasons in College Station, Garrett posted 31 sacks and 47 tackles for loss (even while dealing with injuries during his final year with the Aggies). He also graded as a top-three edge defender during all three of his collegiate campaigns, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Browns can use that type of performance, as they ranked just 30th in sacks and 23rd in adjusted sack percentage in 2016. Garrett immediately becomes the best pass-rusher on the Cleveland defense, which saw rookie Emmanuel Ogbah lead the club with six sacks last season. Garrett will now line up in a Browns front seven that also includes Jamie Collins, Demario Davis, Desmond Bryant, Danny Shelton, Carl Nassib, and Ogbah.

Photo courtesy of Pro Football Rumors on Instagram.

Browns To Select Myles Garrett No. 1 Overall

Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett will be the Browns No. 1 pick, multiple league sources tell Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Meanwhile, someone in the know tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) that the top pick will be someone “who is clearly, clearly better than anyone else.” With all due respect to UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky, that’s another strong indication that the pick will be Garrett. Myles Garrett (Vertical)

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In recent days, there were some whispers that Trubisky might be the No.1 pick by Cleveland. Cabot hears that team brass met this afternoon to solidify the decision, which would indicate that there was some debate over the best course of action. For what it’s worth, top executive Sashi Brown recently said that the team’s decision was made roughly two weeks ago, so it’s hard to know what to believe. Regardless, Garrett appears poised to be the top pick.

The Browns are apparently taking the best player available at No. 1, but it’s still wide open after that.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Browns’ Draft Plans

Will Myles Garrett or Mitch Trubisky be the first player off the board? Right now, Garrett remains the “likely” No. 1 overall pick for the Browns, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes. Meanwhile, the Browns continue to try and work their way up to the top eight, presumably to draft Trubisky, Cabot hears. Mitch Trubisky (Vertical)

On Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com became the latest insider to report that Trubisky is a very real possibility for the No. 1 overall pick. At this point, it’s hard to get a grip on exactly what is going on. Last year, the Rams were reportedly encouraged by the league office to shroud their selection of Jared Goff in secrecy, and we could be seeing something similar play out with the Browns. Alternatively, this could be some gamesmanship on the part of the Browns to throw everyone’s draft board into flux.

What we do know is that the Browns are exploring all possibilities for the draft as a whole. The Browns have contacted roughly 27 teams with interest in moving up or down, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. With the No. 1, No. 12, No. 33 and No. 52 overall picks (plus many more), the Browns are strategizing for all possibilities.

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Latest On Browns’ First-Round Picks

Cleveland has reportedly had discussions with multiple teams about trading up from the 12th overall pick in the draft, but the club also seems to have interest in moving down. The Browns called teams below them on Wednesday to ask if any would be interested in acquiring the 12th selection, reports Michael Lombardi of The Ringer (Twitter links).

Mitch Trubisky Instagram

The 12th choice is the Browns’ second, of course, after the No. 1 overall pick. They’re “locked in” at the top spot, notes Lombardi, though it’s still not clear whether they’ll take Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett or North Carolina quarterback/Ohio native Mitch Trubisky. This is only speculation, but the fact that the Browns would consider moving down from No. 12 could be a sign that they’re leaning toward Trubisky, who seems unlikely to be available when they’re on the clock for the second time in Round 1. Notably, the organization’s Trubisky fansperhaps including owner Jimmy Haslam – fear he won’t fall to 12.

Ultimately, the Browns probably will make Garrett the No. 1 overall selection, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter isn’t as confident. Trubisky is “square in consideration,” per Schefter, and “very smart, very well-connected people” have told him that the Tar Heel will be the first pick on Thursday (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).

Photo via Pro Football Rumors’ Instagram account.

PFR’s 2017 Live NFL Mock Draft

The 2017 NFL Draft begins on Thursday night, and Pro Football Rumors is back with its second mock draft of the year. While our initial mock attempted to project what will happen in Round 1, we’ve taken a different approach for mock draft 2.0.

PFR editor Zach Links and I conducted this live mock draft on Tuesday morning, rotating picks and breaking down what we would do were we in charge of these selections. We posted each pick on Twitter, followed by a short explanation of our thought process on this page.

Here’s the complete mock:

1. Cleveland Browns (Zach) – Myles Garrett, LB, Texas A&M

I suspect this is the easiest pick either one of us will make all day. Garrett is the best pure talent in this year’s draft and the Browns would be foolish to go in any other direction at the top of the draft.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Dallas) – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Reports that the 49ers are considering a quarterback with the second overall selection stand out as a potential smokescreen, and instead San Francisco uses the No. 2 pick to bolster its defense. Hooker, who recently earned a full medical clearance following combine rechecks, has been commonly linked to the Chargers as a perfect fit for Los Angeles defensive coordinator Gus Bradley‘s scheme. But the 49ers are running the same defensive look as the Chargers under new DC Robert Saleh, and Hooker would give the team a centerfielder with the upside of an Earl Thomas. San Francisco’s plan to convert nickel cornerback Jimmie Ward to safety won’t stop it from adding Hooker, who is possibly the draft’s No. 2 overall prospect.

3. Chicago Bears (Zach) – Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford 

Dallas’ bold pick left my Bears with a golden opportunity. The Bears could go safety or cornerback in this scenario, but the talent of Thomas is too good to pass up. Thomas can be used on both the inside and outside of the Bears’ defensive line and I see him as one of the safest talents on the board.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Dallas) – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

No, we didn’t forget the Jaguars used a top-five pick on Jalen Ramsey in 2016 and then handed a $67.5MM contract to A.J. Bouye in free agency last month. But one of Ramsey’s key selling points last year was his versatility: while he’s a shutdown corner at his best, Ramsey can man the slot, cover tight ends, and dabble at safety. As such, adding Conley doesn’t mean Jacksonville is facing cornerback overload, especially given that NFL clubs are in the nickel more than two-thirds of the time. Conley is viewed as a safer prospect than his Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore, and he’d give the Jaguars a Broncos-like secondary.

5. Tennessee Titans (Zach) – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Titans, arguably, get the best cornerback available in the draft even though they are the second team to address the position. No, we don’t have a ton of film to go on for Lattimore, but his combine numbers indicate that he could be a megastar. Few teams in the NFL would have a young cornerback duo like the Titans if they can pair Logan Ryan with Lattimore.Mitch Trubisky Instagram

6. Cleveland Browns (projected trade with Jets) (Dallas) – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

In need of a franchise quarterback, the Browns send the No. 12 and No. 52 pick to the Jets in exchange for No. 6 with the intention of drafting Trubisky. It’s a slight overpay for Cleveland (at least, based on Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, which is likely what the Browns front offices uses), but it does the deal anyway to land a long-term option under center. Given that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is reportedly pressing the club to select a quarterback early — and the fact the Cleveland may still be considering Trubisky with the first overall selection — landing the UNC signal-caller at No. 5 for the cost of a mid-second-round pick is a move the Browns can’t pass up.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Zach) – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

In this scenario, it seems like Allen’s subpar workouts have led to a bit of a drop. His size (6’3″) is a bit of a concern, but he has the ability to be an effective defensive end while spending some time on the inside as well. Allen would look great lining up on the opposite end of Joey Bosa.

8. Carolina Panthers (Dallas) – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Sitting at pick No. 8, the Panthers certainly have options. General manager Dave Gettleman & Co. could go after a running back like Leonard Fournette or Christian McCaffrey, bring in a young edge rusher to play alongside veterans like Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers, or even reach for an offensive tackle given Michael Oher‘s health questions. With Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey Brown having defected via free agency, the Panthers need another wideout to pair with Kelvin Benjamin. Enter Davis, who topped 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Zach) – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Foster’s stock, by all accounts, is slipping after he turned in a diluted urine sample and got into an argument with a hospital worker at the combine. However, with other teams in the market for an inside linebacker (like the Jets at No. 12, for example), it would be somewhat risky to trade down into the teens and expect Foster to still be there. The Bengals have been willing to overlook character concerns in the past, so I see no reason why they can’t do the same here and land the Alabama star.

10. Buffalo Bills (Dallas) – Jamal Adams, S, LSU

While the Bills gave Jordan Poyer a four-year deal with $6MM in guarantees earlier this offseason, I’m still not convinced Buffalo views him as a definite starter. Those questions come to the forefront with Adams still on the board, and the Bills don’t hesitate to take the LSU defensive back. With ex-Packer Micah Hyde also in the fold, Buffalo can field one of the more diverse and flexible safety tandems in the league. Adams is viewed as a leader in the locker room, and has been favorably compared to former Cowboys All Pro Darren Woodson by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

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NFL Draft Rumors: Mixon, Raiders, Eagles

Is Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon the most talented player in this year’s draft? One nameless personnel executive told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he believes that to be the case. The other execs surveyed, naturally, went in different directions. Texas A&M star Myles Garrett got 11 votes, LSU safety Jamal Adams got two, and there was one vote cast for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Unlike the others, Mixon doesn’t necessarily seem likely to go in the first round.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

Draft Rumors: Redskins, Trubisky, Browns

The Redskins recently re-signed RB Chris Thompson, but as John Keim of ESPN.com writes, the team wants to add another back to complement Thompson and incumbent starter Rob Kelley. It is unclear whether that will happen in free agency or the draft, but head coach Jay Gruden has said that the team would only select a running back high in the draft if such a running back is a “home run hitter.” Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook certainly fit that description, and Keim believes they could tempt Washington in the first round of this week’s draft. In a separate piece, Keim writes that the Redskins want to draft a difference-making pass rusher “in the worst way,” and given that this year’s draft is rich in pass-rushing talent, they could be picking from a few intriguing options at No. 17 overall. However, they could also consider Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster if he is still available when Washington is on the clock (and he may be, given his recent failed urine test).

Now for more draft-related nuggets:

  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com believes there is truth to the rumors that the Browns and Jets are discussing a deal that would see the Browns send their No. 12 overall pick and multiple other selections to New York in exchange for the Jets’ No. 6 overall selection. Such a deal would likely be contingent on, among other things, Mitch Trubisky‘s still being available, but the teams are talking and Cimini believes the Jets should pull the trigger if they can.
  • Speaking of the Browns and Trubisky, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer hears that the Browns’ interest in taking the UNC signal-caller with the No. 1 overall pick is genuine, but she still thinks the team will select Myles Garrett with that choice.
  • The Browns are hoping that the Moneyball approach will translate to the NFL, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes. Former baseball executive Paul DePodesta has the Browns evaluating things differently and stockpiling picks in a way that we haven’t seen before in the NFL. Heading into the draft, Cleveland has five picks within the first 65 selections this year, including the Nos. 1, 12, 33, 52, and 65 overall picks. That’s not including the 2018 second-round draft pick they received for taking on the contract of quarterback Brock Osweiler. The hiring of DePodesta was met with mixed reactions, but it’s hard to find fault with all of the ammo the Browns currently have, which will allow them to trade up if necessary to land the quarterback they want.
  • Steelers WR Martavis Bryant is expected to be reinstated and to contribute in a big way to the Steelers’ passing attack in 2017, but given that he missed all of the 2016 season and has yet to actually be reinstated, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com believes Pittsburgh will approach this week’s draft as if Bryant is not in the mix. The team’s first-round pick is too late to land one of this year’s top WR prospects, but Fowler names Zay Jones, Chris Godwin, and Josh Reynolds as potential fits.
  • Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal realizes that the Raiders have not yet acquired Marshawn Lynch, and the team has some questions at right tackle, but the expectation is that GM Reggie McKenzie will devote the majority, if not entirety, of his earliest draft resources to the defensive side of the ball. That trend likely will continue to some degree in the fourth through seventh rounds.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

 

Latest On Browns’ Mitch Trubisky Interest

Earlier today, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported the Browns were still mired in a Myles Garrett-vs.-Mitch Trubisky debate despite the former being the consensus top talent in the draft. More came out of Cleveland on Friday night to support the Browns are legitimately considering the North Carolina product.

The team is both pondering a trade-up for the former Cleveland-area high school quarterback and selecting him at No. 1 overall, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. Cabot adds that the pro-Garrett vibes coming out of Sashi Brown‘s Wednesday press conference do not mean the team is going to take the defensive end, noting the Browns are “strongly considering” bypassing the Texas A&M sack artist and selecting Trubisky.

Cleveland’s line of thinking here is believed to be that the pro-Trubisky contingent within the Browns’ decision-making structure is uncertain he will be there at No. 12 and isn’t sure the team will be able to swing a trade back into the top 10 to select him. Sources informed Cabot the team is ready to select its quarterback of the future.

During the second-year GM’s pre-draft presser, Brown said the Browns have “just about finalized” their decision at No. 1. While that was believed to be interpreted as a sign the team was ready to take the best player available, sources told Cabot that Brown may have meant Trubisky is the emerging consensus choice.

Cabot also hears the 49ers are a threat to take Trubisky at No. 2 overall, and that the North Carolina-honed signal-caller won’t last past the Jets at No. 6. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported earlier this month some Jets officials are high on Trubisky, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report noted the team could serve as a trade partner for the Browns if they wanted to get back into the top 10.

If the Jets are entertaining the thought of using another high pick on a passer, the Titans hold the No. 5 pick. Tennessee had to surrender a 2016 third-rounder and 2017 second-round choice to Cleveland in order to move from No. 15 to 8 to select Jack Conklin. The price could be similar for the Browns, who have been more known for stockpiling draft picks than trading up for talent since the Brown- and Paul DePodesta-led front office took over.

The Browns have turned down offers for the No. 1 pick, Cabot reports, but after the team traded out of No. 2 last year and passed on Carson Wentz, it’s now poised to make that quarterback pick this year. Cabot adds that the Browns missing out on Trubisky would result in them moving on to Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes — presumably with their No. 12 pick. Of course, a GM told NFL.com’s Charlie Casserly he believes two quarterbacks would go in the top nine selections. In that scenario, the Browns would have to trade back into the top 10 if they wanted to draft the second-best quarterback on their board.

This would wrap up another complex Browns pre-draft process. Reports about the Browns’ astronomical grade on Garrett and team brass being awed by his Combine showing eventually leading to a Trubisky pick would be quite interesting. As would the possibility that owner Jimmy Haslam, who was possibly connected to having made the decision to trade up for Johnny Manziel in 2014, being involved in the decision-making process, as La Canfora suggests he could be.

Browns Owner Wants QB At No. 1?

Complicating the divide between the Browns’ coaches and their front office regarding the No. 1 overall pick: Jimmy Haslam is believed to be weighing in on this process.

The team’s owner “badly wants” a quarterback, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). As the draft nears, Haslam has been asking about this draft’s quarterback class and wondering why there hasn’t been much clamoring for a passer at No. 1 overall among the team’s decision-makers (Twitter links, via La Canfora).

While this would seem to open up a bigger issue for the Browns, who have seen Haslam make quick decisions regarding previous head coaches during his tenure, the team still has a chasm between its coaching staff and new-era front office about which player to select first overall.

The coaching staff continues to prefer Myles Garrett, with La Canfora echoing what we’ve heard before about Jackson’s preference for the Texas A&M defensive end. But the front office, per La Canfora, is leaning more toward Mitch Trubisky as the pre-draft process enters its final week.

Trubisky has evidently made a late push for a Browns team that has probably experienced the biggest trouble at the quarterback spot of any team during the 21st century. The Cleveland-area native, though, could be viewed as a reach at No. 1 overall due to his one year of starting experience and the constant scrutiny about this year’s quarterback class having been present throughout the pre-draft months. But the Browns are also believed to be pondering a move up from their No. 12 spot to select the North Carolina-developed passer.

The owner weighing in on the process would certainly appear to throw more weight behind Trubisky. Haslem wanting to leave the draft with a surefire starting signal-caller doesn’t necessarily mean the Browns are going to pass on Garrett, but it might mean the team will trade up from No. 12 or use multiple picks as currency in a trade. La Canfora tweets a trade scenario would be welcomed by Browns brass, as it would “appease” Haslam and allow the franchise to select Garrett. The Browns have been linked to Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the offseason, but the Patriots have shown increased reluctance to unload Tom Brady‘s backup.

Of course, Browns GM Sashi Brown said earlier this week the team doesn’t envision a trade for a veteran quarterback. So, the complicated offseason — one that has the Browns still trying to work a trade to get Brock Osweiler off the roster — continues in Cleveland.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.