The Cleveland Browns (1-15) endured another losing season (9 straight) and have the first pick in the 2017 draft. The positive of being the worst team in the league and getting the number one pick is your choice of any upcoming prospect. Could the Browns be forced to scratch off the consensus number one player available? Should they change their draft plan?
Over the weekend, a video surfaced of defensive lineman Myles Garrett pleading to Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys) to trade Tony Romo, and a few additional picks to Cleveland to draft him. Garrett is a home-grown kid from Arlington, Texas who attended Texas A&M. A very important part of this video is the fact that although it gained attention on Friday, it was actually recorded and put up in December.
Since the video made headway in the national spotlight, Myles Garrett said publicly, “I’d like to not go anywhere cold. But I want to go number one. Whoever that is, if that’s Cleveland, I have no problem going up there and playing with them. I’m going to love whatever team and organization that I’m a part of. Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, whoever has number one at the end of the day, that’s where I’m trying to go.”
With all this out there I believe the Browns still have to select him number one overall. He is clearly the best player in the draft who can get after the quarterback and be the corner stone of your defense. Think Von Miller type of player. The Browns should not reach for a quarterback when the Benz is sitting in their lap. There is no doubt quarterback is the most important position in football, but the next most important position is the one that can get after the QB. That is exactly what Myles Garrett brings to the table. He recorded 8.5 sacks, 10 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles, 1 block kick/punt, 15 tackles for loss, and 33 tackles in 11 games (cfbstats.com).
The Browns must stop trying to be the smartest guys in the room and just select the Benz. After that, then you let the cards fall and see if your QB is still on the board at pick #12. The most important thing to find here is fit. Meaning, hopefully the front office listens to Hue and he gets his guy without reaching at pick #1.
If the Browns reach at pick #1 and select a QB, they will be making the same mistake they did in 1999 when they drafted Tim Couch. This current Browns team has too many holes and is not ready to compete. Instead of reaching on an unknown commodity, take the best player available and build your team from within. The Browns must realize they can dictate the way this draft goes and not outsmart themselves. If they select a defensive player, you may see the QBs fall in the draft allowing them to get both the players they want.
My perfect draft for the Browns first four picks are:
#1: DL Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)
#12: Trade down to the 18-22 spot (picking up an additional late pick), then trade the 18-22 pick to New England for Jimmy Garoppolo
#33: S Jabril Peppers (Univeristy of Michigan)
#52: DL Carlos Watkins (Clemson)