BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Myles Garrett had no doubts and neither did the Cleveland Browns.
After hanging up his mother’s phone, Garrett removed his Adidas T-shirt to reveal a another shirt that said: “Cleveland — The Heart of Rock ‘N Roll.”
Garrett did not travel to Philadelphia to get his hat, jersey and hug from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, instead he stayed home in Texas with his family where he received the call from the Browns war room in Berea.
“It was really just a weight off my shoulders, what I was wishing for has come to fruition,” Garrett, who made it well known he wanted to go No. 1 prior to the draft, said.
Garrett was a force Texas A&M in 3 seasons that saw him total 31 sacks and 47 tackles for loss. He also registered 141 total tackles, including 81 solo tackles, 7 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 5 passes defensed and an interception over 34 total games.
“I want to be the best. The only thing holding me back is me,” Garrett said.
The 6-foot-5, 272-pound defensive end will be expected to transform a defense that registered just 26 sacks, which ranked them 31st overall, last season.
“They picked me because they think they see something in me, and they know that I can help them rebuild and turn this program around,” Garrett said. “That’s the mindset that we have to have. Starting next year, we can put the pieces together, not only the players but with a mindset that we can actually do this. I know that the players there have that same mindset. I am going to keep that feeling contagious. I’m just prepared for that.”
New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams gets an impact player that should also help turn the tide on that side of the ball after Cleveland finished ranked 31st against the run, 21st against the pass, 31st in points allowed, 32nd in touchdowns allowed and 31st in forced turnover percentage in 2016.
“This guy is as good as I’ve seen in a while not just as a football player but also as a person and what he wants to become,” Browns head coach Hue Jackson said. “He has a burning desire to be one of the best in football, and I think you guys will see that tomorrow. I think we’ve all known his talent and seen his talent.
“We have the right guy. He’s just got to come in and do it consistently over time, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Garrett is the second defensive lineman taken by the Browns with their top draft pick in 3 years. Tackle Danny Shelton was picked 12th overall in 2005 out of Washington.
“Cleveland is getting a smart young player who wants to be the very best,” Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “He will work hard in the film room, the weight room and on the field.”
Garrett becomes the fourth player in franchise history to be taken No. 1 overall joining Stanford quarterback Bobby Garrett in 1954, Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch in 1999 and Penn State defensive end Courtney Brown in 2000.
The Browns also were considering North Carolina quarterback and Mentor, Ohio native Mitchell Trubisky with the top pick before zeroing in on Garrett. Although Trubisky was passed up for the top pick, he didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called. The Chicago Bears flipped picks with San Francisco to take Trubisky No. 2 overall.