NFL Draft 2017: 5 reasons why Myles Garrett should be No. 1 pick

Sep 5, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Myles Garrett (15) celebrates his sack against Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Mike Bercovici (2) (not pictured)in the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the Browns are split between defensive end Myles Garrett and Mitch Trubisky in this NFL Draft’s first overall pick. Here’s why Garrett should be the pick.

Texas A&M Aggies defensive end Myles Garrett left destruction in his wake in every game. He joins a budding lineage of Texas A&M stars currently seeing success at the NFL level.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin has developed an impressive pipeline of pro talent in Aggieland. 13 former Aggies player have been drafted to the NFL, 6 in the first round, since Sumlin took over in 2013.

Garrett is the latest player to leave College Station as a top player, perhaps even more highly-touted than fellow alum and linebacker Von Miller (Denver Broncos). While some folks could look at Garrett’s production in 2016 and see down numbers, it’s worth noting he played much of the season on one leg after an injury in Week Four.

The Texas A&M Aggies started the season 6-0, upsetting the 16th ranked UCLA Bruins 31-24 in overtime. Garrett had three tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack in the victory. But they lost five of their final seven games of the season. Only two of them came in blow outs against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. But some things are expected in the SEC.

The Aggies finished 2016 with an 8-5 record but Garrett’s presence on the Aggies defense didn’t go unnoticed. He won the Lombardi Award and Hendricks Awards as a sophomore in 2015, tying for second in the FBS with 12.5 sacks.

With a fresh start in the NFL on a new team, here are five reasons why Myles Garrett should be the number one pick for the Cleveland Browns.

Sep 24, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Myles Garrett (15) in game action against the Arkansas Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium. Texas A&M won 45-24. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5. The Browns need to ‘Trust the Process’

Passing on junior defensive end Myles Garrett as the top pick would be crazy if the Cleveland Browns did so. Don’t get me wrong. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a good season as starter with the UNC Tar Heels.

However, the Browns have the first and the 12th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. If they don’t draft a quarterback with their first pick, they can draft one at the 12th pick. Add that those to the 10 other picks they have and there’s reason enough to take Garrett with the first overall pick. If Trubisky is gone, they can draft Deshaun Watson, a proven winner out of Clemson or another quarterback.

In 2014, the Houston Texans drafted a guy first overall out of South Carolina by the name of Jadaveon Clowney. This past NFL season, Clowney made his first Pro Bowl after posting 52 stops, 6.0 sacks and a forced fumble. And he did much of that without defensive end J.J. Watt on the other side.

The Cleveland Browns shouldn’t take the SEC pedigree of Garrett lightly. Seeing how Clowney has worked out with the Texans should be the blueprint for the Browns with Garrett. It took Clowney a season or two to adjust but he’s had a solid start to his NFL career and looks to do more damage with J.J. Watt returning in 2017.

The Texans took their time with Clowney and it worked out for them. Taking a page out of the Philadelphia 76ers book, the Browns need to trust the process and draft Myles Garrett. Garrett was still a first-team AP All-American and All-SEC selection despite playing hurt much of the season, which speaks to his toughness.

Oct 8, 2016; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Myles Garrett (15) in action during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Kyle Field. The Aggies defeat the Volunteers 45-38 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4. Garrett has unmatched toughness

In a season where other top potential picks took criticism for sitting out bowl games, Garrett didn’t. He did miss three of the Aggies’ 13 games due to a high-ankle sprain he suffered on September 24 against the Arkansas Razorbacks. But he still managed to accumulate reasonable numbers on one leg.

Garrett was set to play on just third downs against the Tennessee Volunteers back on October 8. He had missed the previous game the week before against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

However, he ended up playing more than that in a game that went to double overtime, recording a sack, tackle for loss and forced fumble. The Aggies won 45-38.

Two weeks later against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Garrett recorded seven tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. Although the Aggies lost 33-14, he made his presence felt all game, despite again, playing on one leg.

In three seasons, Garrett racked up seven forced fumbles, 47.0 tackles for loss, 31.0 sacks and 141 total tackles as a defensive end in the SEC. He never quite got back to the sophomore production (19.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks) in 2016 but playing through injury showed just how tough of a football players Garrett is.

Mar 5, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Myles Garrett runs the 40 yard dash during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Browns would miss out on a freak athlete

Myles Garrett performance at the NFL Combine may go down as one of the best televised spectacles. Garrett has measurables that are hard to ignore at 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds.

The junior defensive end ran a 4.64 40-yard, had a 41′ vertical leap, 10’8″ inch broad jump and bench pressed 225 pounds for 33 reps. He posted the best vertical jump among defensive lineman at the combine and had the fifth-best 40 time.

After the NFL Combine, many expected Garrett to take it easy at Texas A&M’s Pro Day on March 30. While many other top prospects took it easy, Garrett did it all in front of many NFL scouts.

Garrett told those in attendance he ran a 4.56 40-yard dash and participated in the physical testing at pro day. Much of the workout was focused on quarterback Trevor Knight and the wide receivers (Speedy Noil, Josh Reynolds and Ricky Seals-Jones), but Garrett still did his part to show off his pure talents.

Without a standout quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft, Myles Garrett has done his part to stand out as the best overall prospect. The Cleveland Browns would beware to pass him up as the team’s behind them in the draft are sure to pounce. Garrett has a work ethic that’s hard to find.

Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

2. Myles Garrett has a hard to find work ethic

Myles Garrett enters the NFL Draft as one of the workhorses in this year’s draft class. Instead of slowing down and taking it easy this past season after getting hurt, Garrett kept going, showing he wants to give it his all no matter the odds.

Now that he’s healthy, Garrett has had the opportunity to show teams that he’s about that action. After putting up two strong workouts at the NFL Combine and Texas A&M’s Pro Day, it’ll be hard for scouts to question his motor.

Garrett knows he still has some learning to do, but the Browns defense could certainly use his pro-level size and athleticism. They finished in the bottom 32 in total scoring defense (28.3 ppg) and yards allowed per game (392.4) in 2016.

Considering the game is won on the defensive side of the ball, drafting Myles Garrett first should be a no-brainer. They drafted a quarterback in last year’s draft with the 93rd pick (Cody Kessler, USC Trojans), so making it a huge need this year should be a nonfactor. Quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and Patrick Mahomes will all potentially be available at the 12th pick.

Sep 17, 2016; Auburn, AL, USA; Texas A&M Aggies lineman Myles Garrett (15) tackles Auburn Tigers quarterback Sean White (13) during the first quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

1. Myles Garrett makes other players around him better

When it comes to the SEC, its the next best thing to an NFL comparison. Myles Garrett has the ability to draw a lot of double teams thus creating opportunities for his teammates.

In the past two seasons, fellow Aggies defensive end Daeshon Hall elevated his play opposite Garrett at Texas A&M. Hall had 27.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and three pass breakups in 2015 and 2016 in College Station. His play was an ode to the attention Garrett’s presence drew on the pass and run. Hall is also eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft.

Building a defensive line takes time. With 2016 draft picks Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma State Cowboys) and Carl Nassib (Penn State), adding Garrett gives Cleveland a good core of defensive lineman to work with. Ogbah and Nassib combined for 8.5 sacks for the Browns in last season as rookies.

Youth is present on the Cleveland Browns defense but how they utilize it will obviously have a big impact on the future. With a good core of players next to Myles Garrett, it can allow him to get familiar with new techniques and looks he’ll face in the NFL.

At the same time, it gives Garrett a chance to contribute to his strengths in certain situations. Developments comes through game situations, with Garrett putting in time learning, his skills can improve alongside the guys he works around. As Cleveland already has invested in defensive lineman, drafting Myles Garrett gives them a better player to work around.

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