As we near the late-April NFL Draft, who the Cleveland Browns are taking with the No. 1 pick is becoming less and less of a guess thanks to Myles Garrett using the NFL Combine to create a chasm between himself and whomever goes at No. 2. But with that mystery slowly being removed, the focus turns to the No. 12 pick where the Browns are expected to take one of a handful of quarterbacks or the best safety or cornerback available.
With this 12th pick being as big of a wild card as any, it is with great interest we report the latest from Todd McShay that gives the Browns the quarterback of their future to go with the best edge rusher in this 2017 rookie class.
1. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The Browns shouldn’t overthink this: Garrett is the best pure pass-rusher — and one of the best overall athletes — in the draft. His freakish combine numbers (4.64 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical at 272 pounds) cemented his status as the No. 1 overall pick, in my opinion. Garrett can fit into any scheme. He’s a transcendent-type player.
None of this should be a surprise at this point. We’ve talked about Garrett ad nauseum here, and will continue to do so as the draft nears. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams recently spoke about Garrett as if he were already on the team.
With No. 12, however, McShay has the Browns landing a player who has been mocked to go anywhere from No. 2 down to the second round in Clemson’s DeShaun Watson despite a caveat that the team may not use this selection on a quarterback at all.
12. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
I’m not convinced Cleveland will use this pick on a quarterback, but it would make some sense, especially after landing Garrett at No. 1 overall. Watson will need time adjust to a pro-style system, but he has the tools to grow into a good starter in the NFL if developed and utilized properly.
Speculation surrounding analytics tend to side with Watson over others due to his sample size. Those who are a bigger fan of Mitch Trubisky compared to Watson will see the Mentor product go 25th to Houston. Physical Specimen Patrick Mahomes does not go in the top 32, meaning he would conceivably be there with the first pick in the second round if the Browns wanted to go a different direction.
Defenders who have been mocked to the Browns at the No. 12 spot include LSU’s Jamal Adams (who McShay has going third to Chicago) and Ohio State’s Malik Hooker (seventh to Los Angeles). On the offensive side of the ball, Alabama’s O.J. Howard goes fourth to Jacksonville, and Clemson’s Mike Williams goes 18th to Tennessee.
Sporting News recently mocked the same pair of players to the Browns. Others have linked the Browns to Michigan’s Jabril Peppers and Florida’s Teez Tabor. It’s worth noting that this draft does not include any trades (which are bound to happen), but if anything, this affirms that no one knows what the Browns are thinking with the No. 12 pick.