Dinosaurs. Poetry. Marvin Gaye. Cleveland Browns No. 1 pick Myles Garrett is a unique young man. Oh, did I mention he is 6-foot-4, 272 pounds and moves like a player who is 50 pounds lighter? Unique may be an understatement. The Browns and Cleveland have not seen a player don the Brown and Orange quite like Garrett.
After getting over the astonishing size of the former Texas A&M Aggie, the first thing you notice about Garrett is his soft and reflective voice. He does not have the stereotypical loud and harsh personality of a big, nasty defensive player. Whether its dinosaurs, poetry or Marvin Gaye, Garrett is also a man with many interests off the field and who will not just talk football in public settings. He is not your prototypical 21-year old young man. Many who know him have called him an old soul. Far (and I mean far) from the recalcitrant and news magnet personality of Johnny Manziel, the Browns and their fans have not seen an athlete in the mold of Myles Garrett.
But, don’t get those interests and that personality twisted. Football is his priority and love. He has stated that he wants to be the greatest NFL player of all time. He is one of the hardest working players on the roster, always looking to get better, including taking tips from Hall of Famer Bruce Smith. His soft-spoken personality is not something that transfers to his on-field performance. He flies around the field and can unload some serious punishment on the ball carrier or anyone in his path. He is all in to being great and setting a presence on the defense.
On the field, Garrett is a monster with Herculean talents that can really blow you away. At 6-foot-4, 272 pounds, he is a player with athleticism that should not exist in such a large human being. At the NFL Draft Scouting Combine, he blew away the scouts, running a 4.64-second 40-yards, benching 33 reps, jumping 41 inches in the vertical and jumping 128 inches in the broad jump. His freakish athleticism jumps off the screen and draws your eyes to just his performance on the play, rather than following the ball as you would usually do.
As an edge rusher, Garrett could almost be the model of what teams want in the edge defenders. He possesses great size to withstand the massive size he will face in the trenches. He has a rare combination of strength, explosion and speed that makes him incredibly hard to block. He can throw almost anything at a blocker, while also shifting to the different traits within the play to counter the actions of the blocker. To add to these crazy talents, he possesses the flexibility and balance that few have seen in a man his size. It’s almost unfair to offensive lineman that have to block him, because they have to defend against all of these skills, leading them to make more mistakes to try to anticipate Garrett’s moves. Much of his accolades have been about his pass rushing skills, but he is almost as talented against the run, setting a strong presence in the run defense that helps him stay on the field for any situation. His skill set is the ideal that coaches dream of in an edge rusher.
Never have I been more excited for a Browns rookie than I have been excited about Garrett. As I stated early, I can sometimes get hypnotized watching him rush the edge, showing the freakish ability that earned the No. 1 pick billing. I have never been happier in the preseason to see the Browns defer to the second half and start on defense. His presence is that exciting to me. But, what draws me even more to Garrett is expansive off-the-field interests. I love that he is an old soul who listens to classic music, writes poetry and studies dinosaurs. He is not your vanilla athlete who is only going to talk about football and not open up about who he is beyond the game. It makes him more personable. It is a fun combination to witness his talent, while also loving the person who has that talent.
His off-field and on-field personality juxtaposition is what makes him so unique and someone who I have not seen before in a Cleveland Browns uniform. Off the field, he is inviting and intelligent with a wide variety of interests to speak on. On the field, he is a physical freak who many talent evaluators have never seen before. His rare combination of size, athleticism, skill and intelligence is just unbelievably unique. In all facets of his life, Garrett is distinctive and special. Getting a chance to watch him play and live in Cleveland will be a treat to experience for hopefully the next 10-15 years. I think we have a special player and man. Enjoy him, because we might not see a player come around like him for a very long time, if ever.