The Cleveland Browns reshaped their roster in the 2017 NFL Draft, adding ten new players to the roster that went 1-15 in 2016. Because of the nearly winless season, the Browns were given the chance to select No. 1 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.
With that opportunity, the Browns selected my No. 1 rated player in the draft, edge rusher Myles Garrett. The Browns had a huge hole opposite of Emmanuel Ogbah on the defensive line, making Garrett a perfect pick and fit for the Browns. Garrett was highly productive in his three seasons at Texas A&M, including his junior season last year. In 11 games last season, he posted 33 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and eight and half sacks.
So, what are the Browns getting in their new edge rusher? Lets take a look at the film to examine the strengths and weaknesses of Myles Garrett.
This is just one play that shows the freakish athleticism of Myles Garrett. Against Ole Miss, he bursts off the line of scrimmage and then leaps high to tip the pass. He lands with control, allowing him to track the ball in the air and make the interception. His athleticism is on display in every play, running like a player who is 50 pounds lighter than his actually size of 6-foot-4, 272 pounds. He showed off his great athleticism at the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash, lifted 33 reps on the bench press, jumped 41 inches in the vertical and jumped 128 inches in the broad jump. All of these scores were amongst the top five results in the defensive line group, while his vertical of 41 inches was fourth highest of all the athletes at the combine. He moves so well for a man his size, changing directions smoothly and running with impressive speed, which helps him rush off the edge and play sideline to sideline.
Explosive First Step
These two plays against Auburn show Myles Garrett’s explosive first step off the line of scrimmage. On both plays, he is able to explode off the line of scrimmage, gaining a big early advantage against the offensive lineman. On the first play, the tackle lined up across from Garrett who is assigned to block inside, leaving the pulling lineman to have to reach Garrett on the edge. But, Garrett uses his explosive first step to burst into the backfield, running right past the pulling lineman who had no chance to get to him in time. He is able to get to the quarterback and get the sack.
On the second play, he uses his explosive first step to get the offensive tackle on his heels. Garrett is ahead of everyone off the line of scrimmage, forcing the offensive tackle to backpedal quickly. The tackle is unable to plant his foot and set a good base, allowing Garrett to bull rush right into the tackle’s body, easily driving him back into the quarterback. He drives the tackle all the way to the quarterback, allowing him to find the quarterback and get the sack. His explosive first step is a huge asset in his game because it allows him to gain an early advantage against blockers. This can set up further moves on his part, while also putting the blocker in defense mode rather than offensive mode. He is often times ahead of everyone else on the line of scrimmage because of his explosive first step.
Pass Rushing Skills
Myles Garrett has an array of pass rush moves, as you can see in these three plays versus UCLA. On the first play, Garrett uses his hands and speed to rush around the pass rush arc, but than uses a quick spin move back towards the inside of the offensive tackle, leaving the tackle behind and gaining a clear path to the quarterback.
On the second play, the talented edge rusher’s threat of speed enables him to take advantage of the offensive tackle. He rushes quickly up field, but then uses his powerful arms to drive inside, completely shoving the tackle out of the way so he can get the sack. And on the final play, Garrett uses his speed, explosion and flexibility. He explodes off the line of scrimmage, uses his speed to gain the edge and than walls off the tackle using good flexibility to turn the corner and get to the quarterback. Garrett has a plethora of pass rushing moves, using speed, power technique and other athletic moves to get to the quarterback.
One of the most underrated aspects to Myles Garrett’s game is his power and strength. The two plays above are two examples of his strength and power. In the first play, he is in a pass rushing situation versus UCLA. Garrett uses a strong bull rush, driving the offensive tackle backwards with his power. He is able to get the tackle on his heels, pushing him too far inside. The tackle is no longer shielding Garrett away from the quarterback, giving Garrett the opportunity to push away from the tackle and get the free path to the sack.
On the second play, Garrett is in charge of keeping the edge on the run play against Tennessee. Tennessee runs to the left edge, right into Garrett’s area. The talent edge rusher goes out a little too wide on the edge, but makes up for it with strength and power. He is able to completely throw the tight end away, blocking him out of his way, enabling him to return back inside to make the tackle on the runner who is running inside of him. He completely overpowers the blocker with his strength and power. Garrett gets a lot of publicity about his explosion and athleticism, but his strength and power are assets throughout his entire game.
One of Myles Garrett’s best assets is his hands. Here are three plays versus the University of Texas at San Antonio where his hands were the main reason he was successful on the play. On the first play, he runs the pass rush arc, but than stops on a dime and uses his hands to swipe the blocker to get him off balance and than pushes him out of the way to get a lane to the quarterback.
On the second play, he shows off his power and strong punch. He starts to run the pass rush arc, but then cuts inside and lays a heavy punch to the chest of the blocker, completely leveling him out of his way and giving him a straight lane to get the sack. On the third play, Garrett gains an advantage with his explosive first step and overall speed, but then adds a nice swipe down of the blockers arms to get free and turn the corner to get the strip sack. His hands are strong, powerful and quick with the ability to disengage from blockers and keep himself from being blocked.
Paired with all of Myles Garrett’s other strengths is his amazing balance as a player. The three plays above are good examples of how excellent his balance is. On the first play, Garrett shows off his balance by fighting through multiple Tennessee blockers to get to the quarterback. He is able to use his strength and hands to get through the line of defense. Throughout the play, he is showing the balance to fight off contact from both sides, maintaining speed to continue forward to the quarterback.
In the second play, the talented edge rusher explodes off the line, beating Alabama tackle Cam Robinson out of his stance, allowing him to shoot into the backfield. He shows strong balance on the play because he is able to withstand the power of Robinson, who is pushing him from the side. Garrett runs right past the contact like nothing was happening. And on the final play, Garrett once again shows off his balance against Alabama tackle Cam Robinson. His strong balance allows him to cut the corner with the weight of Robinson on him, still trekking around the corner to get to the eventual sack. His balance is a huge part of his game, allowing him to withstand contact to continue on his path throughout the play.
Secondary Pass Rush Skills
Even with an array of pass rush skills, Myles Garrett can be too late on transitioning to a different move when he is stalemated on the first move. The two plays above are examples of this issue. In the first play against Alabama tackle Cam Robinson, Garrett tries a quick elusive move faking outside and then moving inside, but he is stopped by Robinson. Then, Garrett just tries to hand fight Robinson, rather than perform other moves like a spin move or bull rush. He wastes his time hand fighting. In the second play, the talented edge rusher starts out with a bull rush against the UCLA blockers. He seems to not try any other move, deciding to just go back into coverage or spy mode. He needs to learn to quickly transition from pass rush skills so that he keeps blockers on their toes and not allow them to stalemate for very long. It is not a huge weakness, but something he should work on going forward.
The biggest weakness to his game has nothing to do with his skills, but rather his health. He missed multiple games last season and had to play most of the season with nagging injuries. He must show that he can stay healthy through the longer NFL season. Especially for players in the trenches, Garrett will face a lot of stress on his body, so maintaining strong health will be imperative for his success. He cannot dominate on the sidelines.