Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett is the best player in the 2017 NFL Draft. Outside of very few exceptions, almost everyone believes this statement to be true. In many analysts’ minds, he is the best defensive prospect to enter the draft since Von Miller back in 2011.
So why isn’t he the consensus number one pick anymore?
Recent reports state that the Cleveland Browns, the owners of the top pick, are split between picking Garrett and North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Both picks would fill big needs on their roster, but the value of the two is incomparable.
2017 NFL Draft: Which teams do the top-10 NFL Draft prospects best fit
Many believe that Trubisky is the best quarterback in this year’s draft. Given this year’s group of talent, though, that’s not a huge accomplishment. Sure, the class in general is pretty good, but there aren’t any stars in this group.
To put things in perspective: Trubisky is the number one quarterback on my big board, but he’s only my number 14 overall prospect. Garrett, meanwhile, is my top prospect.
You can argue about positional value until you’re blue in the face, but the Browns cannot afford to reach for a specific need. They have so many holes on their roster that they must take the best available, regardless of position. In this case, that would be Garrett.
It’s not like edge rusher isn’t a need, either; they only had 26 sacks as a team last year. That number tied for the second-lowest in the NFL. Adding Garrett, a bonafide blue-chip prospect, would bring instant credibility to their lackluster pass rush. His rare combination of size, strength and speed will be a nightmare for offensive linemen in the pros.
Don’t get me wrong, Trubisky is a very good prospect. In fact, I’d strongly recommend that the Browns trade up from number 12 to pick him. However, he’s not good enough that a team should draft him above a generational talent like Garrett.
– Jacob Infante is a National Editor for cover32 and also covers the Chicago Bears. He can be followed on Twitter @jacobinfante24.