The 2017 NFL Draft is just over 72 hours from beginning. With the Cleveland Browns holding the No. 1 pick, plenty of rumors have swirled, linking them to North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the first-overall pick. To this point, the consensus top selection has been Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, who is expected to hear his name called first on Thursday night.
While there are plenty of doubters who believe the defensive end will not be successful in the NFL, former defensive lineman and Hall of Famer Warren Sapp appears to have taken the top spot from ESPN personality Booger McFarland. Existing in a world where ultra-loud certainty is condoned, Sapp spoke out about Garrett on Sunday, stating he is not only overrated, but he’s also “lazy.” Here’s what he had to say, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
“I see a lazy kid that makes four plays a game. This is the No. 1 guy? No, no, no. This ain’t even close. … I don’t see it from this kid. I see the splash plays; everybody gets those. Where’s the game he took over? Where? Any defensive lineman who’s the No. 1 pick, you turn up and you say, ‘There it is!’ This kid, no, I don’t. I’m a pretty plain and frank guy, and I watch the tape and he disappears. I watch the tape, and he absolutely disappears.”
While Garrett struggled at times throughout 2016, it was mainly due to injuries through which he continuously played throughout the season. Add in the fact that he was double or even triple-teamed at times while teams ran the ball away from him and did everything they could to not allow him into the backfield, and that’s mainly the reason why Garrett didn’t put up the numbers that he could have. One would think Sapp would know that a defensive lineman can affect the game in many ways that aren’t on the stat sheet, right?
Whether Sapp likes it or not, Garrett will likely be the No. 1 pick by the Browns Thursday night. The last time Cleveland took a defensive end with the first-overall pick was in 2000, when they selected Penn State’s Courtney Brown. With just five seasons in the NFL before he decided to call it quits, five of which were with the Browns, Brown never really lived up to expectations. In 47 games in the orange and brown from 2000-04, the defensive end totaled 194 tackles, 19 sacks, eight forced fumbles, and one touchdown. Although he spent just five years in Cleveland, Sapp doesn’t even think that Garrett will do as well as Brown did.
“I don’t think this kid is as good as Courtney Brown either.”
Prior to March’s NFL Combine, many across the league already believed that Garrett was the best player in the draft. Following his dominant performance in Indianapolis, those thoughts all but became a certainty. Whether it was the interviews or how the numbers he put up in a handful of different areas, Garrett turned plenty of heads. Then again, Sapp seems to think that measurables are overrated as well, much like his opinion on Garrett.
“It’s all about measurable. Once you hit the measurable, it’s tough to get them old scout people off the numbers, and that’s what [Garrett] has. He’s big, and he’s fast. Now some defensive line coach is thinking, ‘I can turn him into something.’ How? I’m trying to figure this out. Really? Are we lowering the bar?”
Considered the consensus top pick by almost everyone around the league, Garrett can use Sapp’s comments as a reason to have a chip on his shoulder in order to prove him wrong, if he needs that sort of thing for motivation.
If for some reason the Browns don’t call Garrett’s name first on Thursday night, the defensive end already admitted that he will give Cleveland nightmares for years to come.