While they continue to win games on the field, the Cleveland Browns received some great news Tuesday night: Defensive end Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward are headed to the Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday night. This marks the first time since 2016 that the Browns have had at least two players named to the initial Pro Bowl rosters.
Leading the charge on the defensive line, Garrett is the first Browns defensive end to make the Pro Bowl since Rob Burnett in 1995. He has had quite a season in his second year in the NFL. The former first-overall pick in 2017 currently has 12.5 sacks (tied for sixth in the NFL), 11 tackles for loss, and 38 tackles. He has also forced three fumbles, has three pass breakups, and has blocked a field goal. Fully healthy after an injury-riddled rookie campaign, Garrett’s 19.5 sacks through his first two years are the most in Browns history and are tied for ninth-most in NFL history for a player in his first 24 games.1
He’s not only excited for the opportunity to represent his team but honored to be recognized as one of the best defensive ends in the league at just 22 years old.
“I’m honored to be selected to the Pro Bowl,” Garrett said. “I especially want to thank the fans for all the support that they show our team. Football is a team game and you can’t do it on your own. I’m happy to be able to share this experience with Denzel because this honor is really a testament to our entire defense.”
Only a rookie, Ward has had quite a first season in the NFL even if he has missed the last two games due to a concussion. So far this season, the cornerback has recorded three interceptions, 11 passes defended, a forced fumble, and 36 tackles. Whether it’s collecting stats in the box score or forcing quarterbacks to not throw in his direction, the 21-year-old has been impressive, to say the least.
Having led all AFC cornerbacks in fan voting, the former Ohio State Buckeye is not only well-liked by his teammate, but by football fans as a whole. He’s the sixth Browns rookie to ever make the Pro Bowl.
Although some questioned the decision to select Ward fourth overall when defensive end Bradley Chubb was still available, the Nordonia, Ohio native has done his best to prove why he was worthy of being picked by his hometown team. Ward is excited to represent both his team and his hometown.
“I’m proud that I am able to represent the city of Cleveland at the Pro Bowl,” Ward said. “There are so many great players who have made the Pro Bowl in this team’s history and to be included with them is an honor. I want to thank all my coaches, teammates and fans for helping make this happen.”
Along with Garrett and Ward being selected to the Pro Bowl, six other Browns players have also been named alternates: Offensive line Joel Bitonio (first), running back Nick Chubb (second), punter Britton Colquitt (second), wide receiver Jarvis Landry (third), quarterback Baker Mayfield (fourth), and offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler (fourth).
Cleveland may not make the playoffs this season, but their future is bright and part of that is due to their two Pro Bowlers and six alternates, along with many others. Enjoy this, Browns fans.
The 2019 Pro Bowl is set to kick off on January 27 at 3 p.m. ET Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
- He needs just 1.5 more to set the team’s single-season record, held by Reggie Camp since 1984. [↩]