Alex Wright and Myles Garrett share more than just a football position in common.
Wright, a UAB defensive end who was the Browns' third-round pick in the 2022 draft, has a creative, non-football side to him. Similar to how Garrett has heavy interests in all things art, poetry and paleontology, Wright holds a passion for music and art as well. Creating sketches of cars and sci-fi scenes were some of his biggest hobbies in high school, and he's played a multitude of instruments since middle school, ranging from the baritone, alto and tenor saxophone and the clarinet.
"I was big on music, and it's still a part of me," Wright said Friday before a rookie minicamp practice. "Having those extracurricular activities on the side, I can mellow myself out."
Those interests should bode well for Wright as he looks forward to building chemistry with Garrett. The two haven't formally met at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus yet but will be able to soon when OTAs and mandatory minicamp begin.
Wright has been eager to strike a relationship with Garrett since he became the Browns' second selection in the draft at 78th overall. He felt goosebumps when he realized shortly after his draft call that he was going to be teammates with Garrett, a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, but he was also looking forward to learning from Garrett and his off-the-field interests.
"Myles Garrett is one of those rare breeds that I used to and still look up to to this day, not only as a person but on the field and how he works off the field," he said after he was drafted. "The stuff that he does behind the cameras, being able to just watch him and now have the chance to play across from him is like a dream come true. It feels surreal."
Check out photos of all the Browns rookies in Cleveland — and catch them live on 'Browns Live: Meet the Rookies' on May 18
Wright will learn as much as he can from Garrett over the next several months as he prepares for his rookie year, but he knows the best way to fully prepare for it is to be himself.
That's why the Browns drafted him. Executive VP of Football Ops and GM Andrew Berry said Wright was a "favorite" across the organization not only because of what he showed on tape at UAB but because he was an intelligent person both on and off the field.
"This is a guy who when we brought him in for a 30 visit, everybody just spoke glowingly," Berry said after Wright was drafted. "He is very driven, he is very smart and a very humble individual, and we think he is a player who can really grow into the ideal big end for us and rush inside and out."
Wright certainly won't take the opportunity to play for the Browns for granted, either.
He felt as though he wasn't viewed as high as he should've in the pre-draft process because he played at a Group of Five school rather than the bigger, notorious programs of the Power 5. He also grew up in Elba, Alabama, a town with a population of less than 4,000, and ascended the high school recruiting ranks slower than some other players of his caliber.
But he still made the most of his time at UAB and created an opportunity in Cleveland. He knows he won't be unnoticed there.
"Just because I came from a small place doesn't mean I can't play football," Wright said. "I'm willing to strive and get better at it, not only on the field but off the field. Whether it's learning how to watch film or just getting knowledge and advice from the veterans. If you can play football the NFL is going to find you."
The Browns found him, and he could have a chance to come in and deliver an immediate impact as a rookie as he continues to adjust to the NFL level.
Building a relationship and learning from Garrett will be one way to accelerate that process, and with more common interests beyond football, that chemistry could build rather quickly.