If the Cleveland Browns have doubts this close to the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett should hope they do something else with the first overall pick.
It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to wave goodbye to Believeland and go to a franchise that truly believes in his ability.
Earlier this week, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter threw a proverbial knuckleball on Twitter when he reported that Browns officials “have split opinions” on the former Texas A&M defensive end becoming the No. 1 pick in the draft on April 27. Reportedly, former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky also is in play with the first selection.
This makes as much sense as shopping for a car and passing on a new Bentley for a used Honda with flat tires at the same price.
Perhaps this development should be no surprise. This is the Browns, after all. It’s the franchise that made losing a habit within a league built for parity. It’s the franchise that went 1-15 last season. It’s the same franchise that posted a whopping 4 – 4! – victories the last 2 years. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s baseball and NBA franchises flourished and created memories that will bind generations.
The Browns are going to be the Browns.
What more do they need to know about Garrett?
The NFL draft isn’t rocket science or quantum physics, even if it’s tempting to believe so after breathless breakdowns from pundit after pundit. Just know this: Garrett is an athletic marvel. He’s the most dynamic talent available. He would be a prime addition to a defense that finished 30th in scoring last season. He would be a symbol of hope for a franchise that aches for a new narrative.
The Browns would be crazy to say, “No thanks,” and draft a quarterback who is a walking question mark.
It’s surreal to think that by now taking Garrett at No. 1 is no lock. This late in the draft process, Browns officials should make plans to slap his face on billboards throughout northeast Ohio, not slap down the idea of him stepping foot into their practice facility. The choice to pick Garrett should have been made weeks ago.
Garrett has done nothing to deserve falling from the first pick. He performed well in front of scouts. He is interesting behind a microphone. He remains dangerous near the line of scrimmage, no matter what SEC Network analyst Booger McFarland says.
Sure, there was the recent dust-up when Garrett bailed on an interview with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike after McFarland’s critical comments about the player’s toughness. But Garrett’s name wasn’t on a police blotter. He didn’t embarrass himself in a major way.
If a minor incident like that is enough for the Browns to pass on Garrett, then the Browns deserve to get this pick wrong.
Myles Garrett or bust
Don’t overthink this, Browns.
Trubisky is the wrong answer at No. 1. Yes, he’s the best quarterback available, and talented quarterbacks are treated like bars of gold in the NFL. And, yes, the current stable of Browns quarterbacks will make exactly zero —zero — opponents scurry for the nearest available hole. Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan, oh my!
The quarterback class in this draft is as deep as a puddle on a city sidewalk following a light afternoon shower. Trubisky made 13 starts in college, and he appears to be more project than sure thing. There’s no Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston waiting to be snapped up. Perhaps the Browns can get lucky and discover the next Dak Prescott in later rounds.
But neither Trubisky nor anyone else is worth passing on Garrett at No. 1. This should be a no-brainer.
There’s time for the Browns to get this right. But it’s stunning that Garrett’s selection as the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft remains a question.
There’s time for the Browns to make the correct choice and tap Garrett as a face of their future. But it’s odd that possibility remains in doubt this close to April 27.
Due diligence is good. Overthinking can be harmful.
Garrett should want to be part of a franchise that believes in his ability to deliver a better tomorrow.