Wednesday 21 February 2018 / 10:29 AM


A puzzling rumor has come out over the last week ahead of tomorrow’s NFL Draft, and that’s the rumor that the Browns are thinking of going QB with the first overall pick.

Make no mistake: this would be a big mistake.

This isn’t to say there aren’t good QBs in this draft. I’m not one of those that believes this is a weak QB class, considering everyone thought they were fine six months ago. No, DeShaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, Davis Webb, and Patrick Mahomes are all fine QBs, and there is definetly a solid starter or two in the bunch.

Still, the Browns must make the right decision at the top of draft. And there’s only one: Myles Garrett.

I know, it’s the boring pick. Garrett has been the presumptive number one overall pick since around December, when the Texas A&M edge rusher first declared for the NFL Draft. The Browns have been slotted to pick Garrett for a while, and people have been trying to find flaws in his game ever since.

But I’m here to tell you that there isn’t enough to not take him. Garrett is a once in a decade type defensive prescence. Think Jadeveon Clowney with a better athletic upside. The kid has all that you want in a defensive leader and everything you could need outside the tackles.

Garrett was a stud at A&M, this much we all know. But Garrett’s sheer intangibles are enough to warrant a top overall selection. We’re talking about an edge rusher that clocked in at 6’4, 272 lbs. That’s bigger than Von Miller at his age. He also ran a 4.64 40, had a 41’ vertical, and a 128’ broad jump. If you don’t know what any of that means, just know he’s way more athletic than anyone else in this draft.

He’s a physical freak, and that matters for his numbers. Yes, I know that he didn’t put up the numbers that were expected of him last year. After blazing the first two years at A&M, Garrett put up just 8.5 sacks in 2016, with 4.5 of those coming in one game. But he takes plays off, that much he admits. And I know that scares teams, but he takes them off because he can.

Garrett told draft interviewers at the combine that he was aware of the plays he took off, and that he did it because he knew his athleticism could get him by. Think about that: a player for a team in the SEC showed out because he knew that he could coast. The last time we saw something like that: Clowney.

But we all know how Garrett is. That’s not the only reason why the Browns should pass on taking a QB. No, there are plenty of others.

For starters, the Browns have a pick just outside the top ten. That means that however else the Browns want to take at QB, they’ll get their shot there. Unless teams go crazy, it’s not looking like that many teams will go QB in the top ten.

And that’s the other big thing here: the Browns have made smart moves lately, they are finally getting some young talent on this roster. But even on the most optimistic of takes, the Browns are a couple of years from competing for the postseason. So with that in mind, why would you risk the farm right now? Why take an unnecessary risk on a QB in a class that supposedly isn’t that great?

A QB at 12 makes a ton of sense. And one that can be easily explained if the QB doesn’t pan out, and doesn’t set your franchise back. A QB at number one ties you to him, and if he flails out, it sets your franchise back years.

Teams have blown the number one pick more years than not, and I understand the desire to finally get a game changing QB. But without one of those glaringly obvious types of QBs, the Browns have to make the safe choice, and lock up the best player in this draft.

Every team around the league is in agreement on who should go number one, and that’s Garrett. I have to believe the Browns know that too.

I really hope they don’t overthink themselves here, because Garrett can be the remedy they need on that defense, and the type of player that can provide some stability for a franchise that desperately needs a break.

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About the author

Austin Albertson

Austin is CBS' senior NFL and NBA analyst, bringing you commentary on everything between the lines and inside the hashes, from the film room to the scoreboard.

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