At this point, it seems more likely than not that the Cleveland Browns are going to end up doing the most sensible thing with their first-overall pick in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft and select potential foundation-piece pass-rusher Myles Garrett, rather than fumble it away as the organization has seemed to do in years past.
While they know that they need a quarterback, they also seem to know that a quarterback is not the best player in the 2017 draft class, and that is what you take when you have the top pick, especially when you have another pick to work with just 11 selections later.
So Browns are probably going to go with the smart play here. But Garrett says they will pay for if they don’t. In a recent interview, Garrett was asked to make his sales pitch to the Browns as a franchise who hasn’t had a franchise quarterback since Bernie Kosar to take him first-overall over a quarterback.
“Because I’ll be a difference maker from day one”, he said. “And I’m not gonna be in any trouble. I’m just gonna make plays and bring a good atmosphere to your organization. And I’m gonna start winning and winning now”.
Oh, and there was more…
“And because if you don’t draft me No. 1, I will punish your team for the next 10 to 12 years. I’ll knock your QB out of the game every time we play you, and I’ll have to kick the hell out of No. 1, whoever it is”. Not exactly subtle.
This is, of course, the same player who several months ago jokingly pleaded for the Cowboys to trade up to the number one spot with the Browns to draft him instead. Now he is issuing threats for the increasingly unlikely event that he isn’t a Brown.
The interviewer wisely followed up with the appropriately question from the perspective of Hue Jackson, asking Garrett, “which team do you want to play for?”. Unsurprisingly, he gave the right answer: the team drafting first. “Hopefully the Browns”.
He was still pushed further about his previous comment, and said that even Jackson didn’t bring that up when they had dinner. “But when push comes to shove, I want to go No. 1. I don’t want trades, wondering where my fate lies. Whoever has the first pick, just go ahead and take me. I have no allegiance. I want to go No. 1”.
It was a fairly wide-ranging interview in which I thought Garrett generally came across well. I particularly liked his reasoning for declining an invitation to the draft, saying about meeting the commissioner, “an awkward photo doing a side hug with the boss? I’d rather be hugging my family and friends”.