Over the next two weeks, we're breaking down the Browns' 2017 NFL Draft class — from Myles Garrett to Matthew Dayes — and how they might contribute next fall.*
Name: Myles Garrett
Round: 1, Pick: 1
Height/weight: 6-4, 272*
In the months leading up to the Draft, all eyes were trained on Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, who was widely believed to be one of the best prospects in recent memory after totaling 31 sacks in three seasons with the Aggies. So in late April, the Browns tapped Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick (and first of three first-round selections) with the hope he'll blossom into an impact player for years to come.
How was his spring?While limited at times throughout OTAs and minicamp, Garrett flashed why the speed, power and instincts that led Cleveland to draft him in the first place.
Asked about that dynamic during June's mandatory veteran minicamp, head coach Hue Jackson smiled and said it made him feel "really good, and if I was a quarterback, really scared."
"He's talented. I think we all know that. He has just got to continue to integrate himself within our defense and our system," Jackson continued. "He's a very eager and willing young man. He has worked extremely hard. I think hopefully you guys saw the talent today, and we'll keep pushing him and getting him to where he needs to be."
Perhaps most of all, Garrett made a strong impression on his veteran teammates with his work ethic and humility. They said the mantle of being a first-overall Draft pick wasn't too heavy for the rookie to carry.
"I'm just impressed with his demeanor and his willingness to learn, his humbleness, but also you see that fire burning inside him to be great," said 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas. "And I think those are the hallmarks of guys that have a chance to be really excellent football players."
"Myles is a humble guy. Whenever you have a guy that just shows out on the field, he doesn't do too much off the field as far as being flashy or having a big ego," linebacker Christian Kirksey said. "That definitely shows his character and I just can't wait to see him strap up and get in those pads."
While Garrett suffered a lateral ankle sprain late in the second-to-last session of offseason workouts, the Browns expect him to return to training camp healthy and ready to go.
The Browns practice in Berea on the third day of minicamp.
They said it: **"You come in at 6 (a.m), you leave at 6 or 7 (p.m). You have got to be fully in-tune with what you're doing. You've got to make sure you know what you are doing every time you come out here. It's a job application. You're putting your resume on the line and showing what you want to put out there on film every single day, so you have to make sure you put out something good." — Garrett on the transition to the NFL
What to expect in the fall?Jackson has made it clear that Garrett — like every other member of the roster — will have to earn his keep. But it's equally clear the dynamic edge rusher could provide a significant boost to a pass rush that finished second-to-last in sacks last season.
Coupled with Emmanuel Ogbah, Danny Shelton, Desmond Bryant, Carl Nassib and several other players in the mix, the Browns' defensive line is poised for improvement this year. And Garrett, a force at Texas A&M despite a lingering ankle injury in 2016, figures to be the kind of player that can help Cleveland's defense come into form under new coordinator Gregg Williams.
"He's done a great job and it's still way early, but you guys are going to see a pretty good football player when he gets the chance to get out there and go," Williams said last month. "I have a big smile on my face and I will just wait and let him show everybody before I talk about it."