Pick #1 – Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett
This draft class has two stand out picks that have a lot of hype behind them. One of them is Myles Garrett of Texas A&M. Myles Garrett has been the consensus #1 pick for a very long time now, even with his ankle injury he sustained throughout the 2016 season, and I’m still upset the 49ers beat the Rams twice because it means we don’t get to pick him. He is an excellent prospect.
If we go by the Combine numbers, they’re pretty impressive. He is 6’4 and weighs 272 pounds, yet was able to run a 4.64 40 yard dash and had a 41 inch vertical jump. The 40 yard dash number is .11 seconds slower than elite pass rusher from the same school, Von Miller but at the time of the combine Von was 255 pounds, 17 pounds lighter than Garrett. The 41 inch vertical jump compares similarly to the man who led the league in sacks this year, Vic Beasley. He had 33 bench press repetitions, which compares similarly to JJ Watt, who had 34 but also weighed in at 290 for the columbine. His measurables are very, very good. A lot of scouts were absolutely floored with his performance at the combine, and justifiably so. When you put up similar numbers to Beasley, Watt and Miller those are grounds for a very high pick. He’s not just a workout warrior however, his film is very good and backs the hype he has.
One of the best traits about Garrett is his speed off the line. It’s unbelievable:
He’s the first one off the line and he’s too quick for the Arizona State offensive line to even respond to him, much less block him. Easy sack there.
Why the Arkansas defensive coordinator decided to have one man guard Garrett is beyond me. Garrett’s quickness allows him to beat him easily off the edge. However, the strength Garrett shows here is outstanding. He is being held by the offensive lineman. Yet he still gets the sack. Unreal. Here, you also see Garrett use his hand to push off his lineman as he goes for the sack, showing the use of hands. The technique here is excellent, but one of the only critiques about Garrett are his technique, which to a certain extent is somewhat unfair.
As stated earlier, he was battling an ankle injury throughout the 2016 season, yet he played through it. As a result his statistics were not as good as previous years. His efforts were still very consistent, and while people may question that, his dip in production was more due to the injury than anything. Even with that injury, he still showed excellent instinct and was named to the AP All-American team his junior year.
He played this game 2 weeks after injuring his ankle. He’s still able to not only shed his block quickly, but recognize the play and change his line of pursuit. This was his first game back after suffering the injury, played very limited snaps yet was still able to be a disruptive force throughout the game.
Myles Garrett doesn’t have a lot of go to moves that you commonly see. He normally just tries to win the leverage battle and shed off blockers properly. Here, you see him use a sick spin move to shed off his blocker and hit the UCLA QB for an incompletion.
Here, the screen play is recognized and Garrett is successfully able to change the play Alabama runs into a run play instead of one with a screen pass. A lot of people will point to this game to question him due to the lack of counting stats he had throughout the game, but he still was able to disrupt the Alabama offense. However, Cam Robinson did do a fantastic job blocking him throughout the game and he did not shed off Cam quickly.
Myles Garrett has earned comparisons to Julius Peppers, Von Miller and a lot of greats. His columbine was great, his tape, even with him suffering an injury in 2016 was very good. If there’s any criticism for Garrett, it’s his questionable technique, which again I think is a little unfair due to the fact he sustained an injury. He could lean higher up and get better leverage certainly, but I think at that point it becomes nitpicking. He has the ability to make an impact at the next level, at worst he may spend his time his rookie season learning how to get better leverage and hone techniques and shed off blockers quicker (when playing against Cam Robinson of Alabama, another 1st round prospect he was able to shed him off, but it was slightly slow, which can be attributed to the injury) and have a not-too-productive rookie season. If that happens though, I imagine he performs really well the next season. While Myles played in a 4-3, the Browns run a 3-4, but he has the athleticism and body-fluidity to make a change of position scheme wise, or maybe the Browns change the scheme and keep trying to see what works. Either way, Myles Garrett will go #1 and will be an impact player for the Cleveland Browns.