2020 NFL Draft

5 takeaways from Day 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft


1. The guy **

The Browns made Myles Garrett the first overall pick Thursday night, adding the Texas A&M defensive end whom they hope will be a cornerstone player for years to come.

And that's exactly what Cleveland wanted at No. 1 - a generational, transcendent kind of player who can elevate the play of those around him.

"When we went to have dinner with him, he was coming from a workout and going to a workout in the morning. He really just eats, drinks and sleeps football, does do the poetry and some other things, as well, but, he's a very, very intelligent young man," Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said late that night.

"Our psych testing and background testing on him, he was off the charts. Physically, you guys have seen him. I don't think there has been a better prospect that has come out in terms of an athlete at that size in some time. It gives him an awesome opportunity to be really successful for us and an impact player Day 1."

No doubt Garrett, who is almost unanimously considered the best prospect in this year's class, fits the mold.

"This guy is as good as I've seen in a while not just as a football player but also as a person and what he wants to become," coach Hue Jackson said.

"He has a burning desire to be one of the best in football, and I think you guys will see that tomorrow. I think we've all known his talent and seen his talent. We have the right guy. He's just got to come in and do it consistently over time, and the rest will take care of itself."




2. Three's Company

In addition to Garrett, the Browns took Michigan safety and do-it-all guy Jabrill Peppers with the 25th overall pick and Miami tight end David Njoku at No. 29. It was the first time a team has tapped three first-rounders since Minnesota did so in 2013.

"We hoped for two," Brown said, "and came away with three."

"We're excited about that," Brown continued. "They're all going to come in here and contribute for us early and are all guys that love football, highly talented, impact players. That was what we set out to do."

3. Preparing for 2018

The Browns were among several teams involved in signature Day 1 trades when they swapped first-round picks -- No. 12 for No. 25 -- with the Texans, who moved up to take quarterback Deshaun Watson.

In the process, Cleveland - which has spoken of acquiring valuable draft assets in an effort to rebuild its roster - claimed Houston's first-round pick in 2018.

"We came into the night with the understanding that if we got to 12, depending on the players and depending on the offer that we would get and where we would have to move to, that may be something that we would think about," Brown said. "We thought that was the best opportunity for us to move back."

To be sure, it wasn't an easy decision with the likes of Alabama's Jonathan Allen, O.J Howard and Ohio State's Malik Hooker on the board.

"Always difficult," Brown said. "Whenever you trade down, you're sitting there biting your nails for about the next 45 minutes or an hour and a half or so until we got to 25, hoping that some of those guys fell to us.

"We felt good about the player that we did end up taking there. You know, you can't have your cake and eat it too all of the time. Most of the time, you are making a decision and taking a risk. We ended up making the best decision for our organization, and I feel good about where we are positioned moving forward."

4. Let's get philosophical

Last week, Brown said the Browns were philosophically disinclined to trade up in the draft unless 1) the player available made sense for the roster and 2) such a decision operated within the processes that have guided Cleveland the past two years.

The right conditions presented themselves late Thursday and the Browns moved up from No. 33 to No. 29 to grab Miami tight end David Njoku.

While that's unlikely to become a trend the next two days, the move is the latest example of Cleveland being "appropriately aggressive" in its quest to add talent to the roster.

5. 'We won't rest'

Both Brown and Jackson made it clear the Browns still need to address a longstanding need at quarterback, whether that's through the draft, via trade or developing the current members of the roster in Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan.

"We need to solidify the quarterback position. It's not solidified right now," Brown said. 
"We know that we need the guys here to work their tails off, and Hue is going to develop them as much as possible and push them to be their best. We also know that until we get it solidified, we are going to continue looking for players all over the league and in college. That may be in next year's draft. That may be in free agency. It may be via trade. We won't rest until really solidify that position."

Three quarterbacks were taken in the first round - the Bears took Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2, the Chiefs tapped Patrick Mahomes at No. 10 and the Texans scooped up Watson at No. 12.

Jackson added the Browns will make a move on a quarterback when the time is right.

"Obviously, it didn't happen today, but it's not like we didn't try, I can guarantee you that," he said.

"I think that time is coming. It will be here. We are going to continue to, as Sashi said, anything and everything we can to get this position better as we continue to move forward."

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