BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Myles Garrett, Mitch Trubisky or someone else?
The Cleveland Browns are close to deciding who they plan to spend the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on.
“We’ve narrowed it down,” executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said Wednesday afternoon. “We feel good about where we are.”
Although the phone continues to ring with offers for the selection, as of now, they plan on making the pick in what Brown referred to as a “momentous draft” for the franchise.
“That would surprise me. If we traded down this year,” Brown said.
Last year the Browns dealt the No. 2 overall pick to Philadelphia a week before the draft so the Eagles could select Carson Wentz while arming themselves with a bevy of future picks, including No. 12 overall this year.
Unlike a year ago, asset acquisition doesn’t appear to be a driving force in 2017.
“In particular, last year we felt like we needed to add a lot of young talent to the roster and so that really drove a lot of the decisions last year,” Brown said. “We do think we’re positioned obviously very different coming out of 2015. So the need to continue acquiring high-value picks is probably less intense this year. We feel really good about having effectively 2 draft classes through the first 2 rounds.
“There will be a lot of good Cleveland Browns players coming off the board on Thursday and Friday night.”
Cleveland owns the Nos. 1, 12, 33, 52 and 65 overall selections this year positioning the organization to acquire the foundation of the franchise for years to come assuming they pick the right players.
If history is any indication, that is a mighty big assumption.
“This league is too competitive to waste opportunities,” Brown said. “Every time we go into a draft, for us, we view it as we put the pressure on ourselves regardless of what is going on outside. This is an important draft for us. We can get some players that can transform our franchise, and the way we are positioned, it is to some degree the volume of players that can help us. We want to get those right.”
The consensus best player in this year’s draft is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett but neither Brown or vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry tipped their hand as to if he is going to be their pick.
“Bright young man, competitive,” Brown said. “We spent a lot of time with him, No. 1. We learned a lot about what makes him tick, what motivates him, how he spends his down time, how he spends his time with his teammates. You can learn a lot. He is an enjoyable young man, very bright.
“Whatever team gets him, particularly if it’s us, would be proud to have him.”
Brown said that the Browns have no intention of announcing who they will pick No. 1 before the draft or they go on the clock next Thursday night.
While avoiding commenting on the various reports and rumors circulating recently about what the team may or may not be considering late next week, Brown did deny the notion that there is division within the organization over who to pick, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a debate.
“Our job isn’t to agree,” Brown said. “Our job is to get decisions right. And so, when we go through our processes, we actually force ourselves not to get to point where we’re just agreeing on everything.”