For much of the off-season, many have made it known that Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett should (and will) be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. In fact, some have even mentioned that the gap between he and the rest of the field is much bigger than any draft over the years and that he is the best overall prospect since Andrew Luck. This has, of course, led to some skeptics attempting to poke holes in the case for Garrett, wondering how there can be such a no-brain pick at the top of a draft, especially considering the team with the No. 1 pick has a long history of missing on such opportunities.
Heading into this past weekend’s Combine, Garrett almost certainly had very little to lose. He could have just sat back, knowing that he should be the sure fire first-overall pick. Instead Garrett proved even more why he should be the first name off the board come April 27. If there were any questions about just how good he is, they were answered on Sunday.
Before this past weekend’s Combine, Garrett’s freakish athleticism was somewhat known, but not that freakish. The 6-foot-4, 272-pound defensive end impressed in almost all areas, including a 4.64-second 40-yard dash, 41-inch vertical, a 128-inch broad jump, and bench-pressing 225 pounds 33 times. Just how impressive is that? Here’s how he stacks up against some of the tallest, quickest, and best skill position players across the league:
Myles Garrett at the combine:
Taller than Julio Jones
Heavier than Rob Gronkowski
Quicker than Devonta Freeman
Faster than Jarvis Landry pic.twitter.com/9Dl6GIJt2F
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 5, 2017
While he will almost certainly never be forced to run 40 consecutive yards in a straight line during a game, his 4.64 40-yard dash proves that Garrett has the speed to keep up with the majority of players across the league. With Browns head coach Hue Jackson lurking in the shadows at Lucas Oil Stadium, Garrett had fifth-fastest time in Combine history by a defensive lineman that is at least 270 pounds. For what it’s worth, Browns defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah ran a 4.63 in 2016. Although this year’s quarterback class may lack a star, Garrett is faster than the top three QBs in the class.
Watch Myles Garrett put 2017's top QBs in his rearview…
Kizer vs. Trubisky vs. Watson vs. Garrett.
— NFL (@NFL) March 5, 2017
After allowing scouts and front offices across the league to show how fast he is, Garrett impressed them even more with how high he can jump. The defensive end had a 41-inch vertical, which was the first time a defensive lineman of at least 270 pounds jumped at least 40 inches or more since 2006 (Mario Williams). Just how high is that? New York Giants star Odell Beckham had a 38.5-inch vertical at his combine in 2014, matching Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson, a player whose game thrives on jumping. Garrett was nearly three full inches higher.
Based on pictures alone, we already know how strong Garrett is. Benching 225 pounds 33 times solidified that. It was the second-most among defensive ends, behind only Auburn’s Carl Lawson (35).
As WFNY’s Joe Gilbert mentioned, Garrett was one of the must-watch players at the Combine over the weekend, but I don’t think anyone pegged him to perform this well in every single drill. For what it’s worth, Garrett apologized to the Browns over the weekend for joking around about wanting his hometown Dallas Cowboys to trade up and draft him. Cleveland was “blown away” by Garrett’s performance during the Combine, both on the field and during interviews, according to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.
Passing on Myles Garrett is how the Browns would stay "the Browns". No brainer. I'm not answering more questions about this.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 6, 2017
Jackson may love North Carolina quarterback and Mentor, Ohio native Mitchell Trubisky, but Garrett’s pure athleticism, ability to dominate the line of scrimmage, and change the game by himself is too hard to pass up. Whether you’re playing moneyball or not, there’s only one player that should hear his name first come April 27. The Browns have to regret not selecting former Ohio State star defensive end Joey Bosa in 2016, and they can ill-afford to miss out on this year’s top defensive end too. Garrett has the ability to not only be a game-changer, but but is a once-in-a-decade-type player who can immediately step in and be one of the team’s top players, one who can play a LeBron James-like role in immediately making everyone else around him better as well.
“With the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett” is something the Dawg Pound should look forward to hearing in just under two months. With a young core of Danny Shelton, Carl Nassib, Ogbah, and potentially Garrett on the defensive line, the Browns could have one of the best defensive front’s in the NFL for years to come.