Ever since the end of the 2016 season, there’s been one constant: the widespread assumption that Myles Garrett is a lock to go No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns in the 2017 draft.
No one has really entertained the idea of anything else, despite the Browns being in dire need of a franchise quarterback. Garrett, it’s been said, is simply too good to pass up – a near-generational talent on the level of Von Miller and Julius Peppers. Meanwhile, the quarterback class is underwhelming, with few believing it boasts a player capable of starting from Day 1.
However, the Browns are reportedly split on what to do with the No. 1 pick, with some in the organization wanting Garrett, and others leaning toward taking former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
“Don’t be surprised if Myles Garrett isn’t the No. 1 pick,” an anonymous NFL executive told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Surprised? If the Browns take anyone other than Garrett on April 27, it’ll be an all-time draft shocker.
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Despite Cleveland’s attempt to add some mystery to the top of the draft, the former Texas A&M pass-rusher will be a member of the Browns. The noise about taking Trubisky is just that, noise – the typical draft smoke screen teams use to gauge exactly how much the No. 1 pick is worth.
And the chatter doesn’t mean Cleveland has any significant concerns about Garrett; he’s one of the safest picks in recent memory. The Browns are just attempting to get as much information as possible before making their decision, and that’s the smartest thing to do. Cleveland’s front office is an analytics-driven unit, so it stands to reason they covet information above all else.
If a team wants to pay a king’s ransom to trade up for Garrett or Trubisky, then the Browns would be crazy not to at least listen to the offer so they can thoroughly vet all their options.
If they really believe Garrett is more of a Jadeveon Clowney or Mario Williams than a Miller or Peppers, then accumulating more picks by trading down and still getting a blue-chip player (along with whoever they pick at No. 12 overall) could be the best option.
And with just over two weeks until the draft, this type of posturing and game-playing will only get more common, as teams attempt to manipulate narratives to best suit their draft agendas.
But, unfortunately, that rarely translates into any drama or surprise at the top of the draft. Garrett might as well book his flight to Cleveland right now.
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