INDIANAPOLIS — Myles Garrett isn't lacking for confidence here at the NFL's annual scouting combine.**
The Texas A&M defensive end is almost unanimously considered the top pick in this year's draft class by analysts and didn't back down from that dynamic Saturday during his time with reporters.
"I feel like I'm the best player in the draft," Garrett said, "and I feel like I'll prove that today and tomorrow."
Garrett, at the very least, looks the part. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound edge rusher has been compared to current NFL greats Julius Peppers and Von Miller with an unusual blend of size and speed. In three seasons with the Aggies, he collected 141 tackles, 47 tackles for loss and 31 sacks.
"I think Myles Garrett has the most upside of any pass-rusher in this draft. When healthy, he's easy to do on tape," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said earlier this week on a conference call. "He's got outside edge-ability, he's got ability to come up and underneath, he can set a physical edge in the run game. But most importantly, he can affect quarterbacks. That's what this league is about. I think he makes a ton of sense at No. 1."
The Browns, armed with the first and 12th overall picks, are poised to add Garrett if they want. Asked Thursday whether that was the team's intention, head coach Hue Jackson chuckled and said it's too early to tell.
"Obviously he's a tremendous player," Jackson said, "there's a lot of tremendous players in this draft. It's just so early to determine exactly where we are."
Garrett said he'd embrace the opportunity to play in Cleveland and shrugged off the potential challenges of joining a team that went 1-15 last season.
"Everybody has their down years," he said, "and anytime it can be turned around."
And Garrett, asked to make his case why he should go No. 1, said he's the kind of player who can have such an impact.
"You've gotta be a game-changer, you've got to be able to turn the tide of the game at any given time," he said.
"I'm somebody who, when it's 3rd-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 will have a chance show the Browns and the league's 31 other teams in the coming days and weeks leading up to the draft.