The Browns bolstered their defense in a big way to kick off the 2017 NFL Draft, selecting Texas A&M's Myles Garrett with the No. 1 pick.
Garrett, an athletic 6-foot-4, 272-pound defensive end, became just the fourth defensive player to be selected with the No. 1 pick in the last 17 years and the 20th since the draft started in 1936.
"They picked me because they think they see something in me, and they know that I can help them rebuild and turn this program around," Garrett said late Thursday. "That's the mindset that we have to have. Starting next year, we can put the pieces together, not only the players but with a mindset that we can actually do this. I know that the players there have that same mindset. I am going to keep that feeling contagious. I'm just prepared for that."
The Browns hold 10 more picks in the 2017 draft, including No. 12 in tonight's first round and three others in the top 65.
Garrett, an Arlington, Texas, native and former No. 1-ranked high school recruit, was a dominant, pass-rushing force during his three seasons at Texas A&M. He made an immediate impact as a freshman, compiling 11.5 sacks and landing a spot on the freshman All-American team, and only got better over the next two seasons. He racked up 19.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and five forced fumbles as a sophomore -- leading the SEC in all three categories -- and concluded his career with 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in a junior campaign that was marred by an ankle injury.
"He's a tremendous player," head coach Hue Jackson. "He's going to come in here and make a difference in our organization. We're looking forward to that."
He finished his career with 141 tackles, 47 tackles for loss and 31.5 sacks playing the majority of his games against foes from the Southeastern Conference, which routinely produces the most NFL prospects.
"I want to be the best. The only thing holding me back is me," Garrett said. "I have to learn from the veterans, just pick everybody's brain to know what they did and to stay on track, to stay focused and not get off track at all with their goals and their dreams. Going for the rookie sack record and those lofty goals is something that I want to do, but I just want to be the best from Day 1. That takes hard work. That takes going against the best like (OL) Joe Thomas and listening and learning from your mistakes from the day before and picking up tips from him, the offensive tackles and my fellow D linemen."
Fully healthy and already pegged by most analysts as the top player in this year's draft, Garrett put on a show at February's NFL Combine, displaying unique athleticism and posting high marks in most of the drills.
"I feel like I'm a playmaker," Garrett said at the Combine. "I feel like I'm going to bring some work ethic into practice and into the weight room that will change things around there, and maybe be a voice of leadership that can help swing things."
The Cleveland Browns draft Myles Garrett first overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Asked about the prospect of becoming the No. 1 pick, Garrett said he understood the responsibility.
"You have to be a game-changer," Garrett said. "You have to be able to turn the tide of a game at any given time. Somebody who, when it's third-and-15 and maybe it's the fourth quarter and we need a stop to get the ball back, they put you in and say you're the guy. That's how good you have to be."
Garrett, 21, is the son of Audrey and Lawrence Garrett. His sister, Brea Turner, was an NCAA champion thrower at Texas A&M and his brother, Sean Williams, was the 17th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Single Game Ticket Information
2017 single game tickets will go on-sale at a later date. Fill out the form below to be contacted when single game tickets are available.