After all the speculation, the Cleveland Browns did what so many expected them to do with the number one pick on Thursday night in the NFL Draft: select Myles Garrett.
The Browns addressed their suspect pass rush from 2016 by adding the former Texas A&M defensive end, who recorded 31 sacks in his three years with the Aggies.
Reports surfaced days before the draft that Cleveland, which had the second-fewest sacks in the league in 2016 with 26, might select former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the top pick to fill a decades-old hole under center.
But Garrett’s size and speed were too enticing for the Browns to pass up. The 6-4, 272-pound defensive end, who ran a 4.64 40-yard dash at the Combine, was a disruptive force in the backfield during his three years in college, racking up 47 tackles for loss.
Despite being slowed by a lower leg injury at the start of last season, Garrett finished with 8½ sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 10 games. If that production translates to the NFL level, it would be just what Cleveland’s porous defense could use.
The Browns finished near the bottom in almost every defensive statistic during their 1-15 season in 2016. Cleveland allowed the second-most yards (392.4) and points per game (452) in 2016, bettering only the 49ers. The Browns have 10 more picks in this year’s draft, including the No. 12 selection, to address their bevy of needs on both sides of the ball.