(As it stands now, the Browns have the first and 12th overall picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. We've taken a consensus of the majority of mock drafts and will profile the players that have been most associated with the Browns in the draft.)
Myles Garrett (6-5, 270) Edge Pass Rusher
We will start with the player almost exclusively linked with the Browns as the first pick.
What experts are saying about Garrett's strengths: Pro Football Focus, one of the most analytical football sites describes Garrett this way: "Garrett has the skills to be an elite pass-rusher at the next level as he can win a variety of ways and there’s still room to improve his power. As a run defender, he may never get to the level of a Von Miller or a Khalil Mack, but he can affect the quarterback and his improvement in the run game should have him playing."
Here are some other one-line takeaways from PFF.
"Can win any way as a pass-rusher...Has the burst to challenge the edge and the power to put offensive tackles on skates...Greatly improved his grade against pull blocks in the run game in 2016, play-by-play grading more than doubled in that area...Quick first step and agility allow him to disrupt in backfield...Changes direction so easily...Played through injury for much of 2016 and was still disruptive in all phases...Room to continue to get stronger, something he’s done throughout college career and if he continues to progress, he’ll be even more dangerous in both phases."
What experts are saying are Garrett's weaknesses: "While much improved against the run, still has to prove it against NFL offensive linemen. May never be a great run defender."
Pro Football Focus has Garrett listed as the No. 1 overall player in this year's draft.
What Garrett is saying: Garrett thinks he can be a difference maker in the NFL.
“You have to be a game-changer," Garrett said at the NFL Combine. "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.” What is it about you that makes you that kind of guy? “I’ve been in those situations before and I’ve made those plays. I feel that in crunch time I’ll make a play, I’ll cause a sack-fumble and I’ll be a game-changer and a playmaker.”
Garrett said he wants to be a part of the turnaround with the Browns, despite a video that surfaced early saying he didn't want to go to the Browns, rather the Cowboys.
“I mean, everybody has their down years and at any time (it) can be turned around," Garrett said. "The Cowboys, they turned around their season in a big way and anybody can do that.”
How Garrett fits with the Browns: Garrett can be the cornerstone of the Browns defense under Gregg Williams. Arguably, last year's most promising draft choice was Emmanuel Ogbah once he was put back at his more natural position of defensive end. Pairing Garrett with Ogbah at the ends with Danny Shelton, Jamie Meder or Xavier Cooper on the inside could give the Browns a formidable front four for years to come.
The Browns had a very inconsistent pass rush in 2016 with Ogbah leading the team with 5.5 sacks. By putting Garrett on the opposite end, Ogbah will be even better and the Browns should be able to get after the passer on a consistent basis for the first time in many, many years.
Should Garrett be the Browns first pick?
Next Up: We'll profile Mitchell Trubisky