CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Presumed No. 1 pick Myles Garrett continues to check off the boxes.
Measurables at the combine and pro day, check.
40-yard dash times, check.
Game film, check.
Willingness to be selected by and play for the woebegone Cleveland Browns, check?
In an expansive interview with Sam Alipour of ESPN the Magazine for an article that will appear in the April 24 draft preview issue and published online Sunday, Garrett peeled back the curtain a bit on the pre-draft process, including his conversations with Browns head coach Hue Jackson during a dinner held while he visited the team last month.
“He wasn’t guaranteeing anything, but he said he’d be happy to take me,” Garrett told Alipour.
Garrett said that he expressed his hope to Jackson that the Browns don’t trade the No. 1 pick and select him despite recording a video in December where he playfully begged Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to trade for the top pick. At the NFL Combine Garrett said that he would apologize to the Browns for the video.
“He didn’t even bring that up at dinner,” Garrett said. “The Cowboys are my hometown team, but when push comes to shove, I want to go No. 1. I don’t want trades, wondering where my fate lies. Whoever has the first pick, just go ahead and take me. I have no allegiance. I want to go No. 1.”
While Garrett appears to be as close to a can’t miss prospect as there can be in this year’s draft, there are still concerns about some of the film from 2016 at Texas A&M that showed him to not be the explosive playmaker that everyone had been accustomed to seeing because of an ankle injury. Although it slowed him for much of the campaign, he played through the injury.
Alipour asked Garrett to imagine that he was Jackson at that dinner and to tell him why since “my franchise hasn’t had a good quarterback since Bernie Kosar” should the Browns pick him first overall on April 27?
“Because I’ll be a difference maker from day one,” Garrett said. “And I’m not gonna be in any trouble. I’m just gonna make plays and bring a good atmosphere to your organization. And I’m gonna start winning and winning now. And because if you don’t draft me No. 1, I will punish your team for the next 10 to 12 years. I’ll knock your QB out of the game every time we play you, and I’ll have to kick the hell out of No. 1, whoever it is.”
With being a top pick comes great responsibility, hype and pressure. Garrett isn’t shy about setting the bar high for his career – and not just at winning defensive player of the year, which he has put on his ‘to do’ checklist.
“By the end of my career, I don’t want to hear talk of another Myles Garrett,” Garrett said. “I want to be the greatest. The greatest that ever played, regardless of position or era. They say that’s Jerry Rice. If his total greatness is considered the best of all time, I want to exceed that.”
The Browns are coming off the worst season in franchise history after narrowly avoiding 0-16 on Christmas eve and they remain the doormat of the NFL with 88 wins and 200 losses on their resume since 1999.
Could he handle the burden of being the potential cornerstone of the resurrection of the franchise and save Cleveland?
“I thought LeBron did that! So I’m the Chosen One now?” Garrett said. “Wow. I’m up for the challenge, though. It doesn’t bother me. I’m looking to achieve my goals, and one of them is to win a title for the team that drafts me. Well, one title would be nice — three would be great.”