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Player Spotlight: DE Myles Garrett

A detailed look at Myles Garrett's fantasty prospects for 2017 and beyond.

POSITIVES

  • Garrett possesses elite athleticism and movement skills.

  • He has great explosiveness off the ball and closing burst to his targets.

  • Garrett has the versatility to play standing up at outside linebacker or with his hand in the dirt at defensive end.

NEGATIVES

  • He is not as good against the run.

  • There are questions about Garrett’s motor that need to be addressed.

  • He has pass rush moves, but needs to learn how to string them together better.

BROWNS ON THE REBOUND

Ever since rejoining the league in 1999, the Browns have struggled to find success. Only in 2002 did they make the playoffs. Since that time, they have put up an awful 67-157 record, with only one winning season in 2007. Many regimes have come and gone in that time, but there has never been one quite like the current one. This group of decision-makers has taken an approach that combines tactics used by rebuilding teams in both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Cleveland has made smart free agent acquisitions, signing players such as J.C. Tretter, Kevin Zeitler, and Kenny Britt. They have stockpiled draft picks, both by trading around in the Draft and by taking on a bad contract of another team in exchange for picks. They also converted some of those picks into players who can make a difference down the road. The biggest investment to date that the Browns have made was in Myles Garrett, the defensive end taken first overall in this year’s NFL Draft.

GARRETT THE GAME-CHANGER

The hallmarks of Garrett’s game are his prowess as a pass-rusher and his explosiveness. Strong hands and fluid hips paired with a rocked-up frame and quick feet give Garrett premium athletic ability with which to work. He has a nice repertoire of pass rush moves-- bull-rush, inside counter, and spin moves seem to be his favorites. Lance Zierlein compares Garrett’s spin to that of Dwight Freeney. His first steps beat all but the most disciplined offensive tackles. He converts speed to power with ease, creating nightmares for those trying to guess what technique he’ll employ on the snap.

Garrett stays disciplined most of the time and sticks to the gaps he is asked to cover. He shows excellent closing burst to get to the ball carrier or the quarterback. He rarely misses a tackle and displays good form on his finishes. In addition to being a sound technician, Garrett has versatility in that he can play defensive end on either side of the line or he can stand up and play an outside rush linebacker. Expect Cleveland’s Gregg Williams to scheme to Garrett’s strengths and use him in a variety of different looks depending on the situation.

IS GARRETT GARBAGE?

Though he did vastly improve against defending the run in college, Garrett will need to continue to make strides in this area. Setting the edge can be a challenge for him. At times, he can be seen on film overrunning the play or getting ridden out of the play by a downhill run blocker.

Another issue that Garrett has is with displaying a consistent effort. While evaluators will argue that many of the plays he took off were to preserve his health, there are times on film that Garrett isn’t giving full effort late in games because he appears tired. He’ll need to improve his stamina so that he can be a difference maker late in NFL games.

Garrett has a variety of rush moves, but needs to learn to better string them together to beat blockers. In the NFL, savvy blockers won’t be fooled by one or two good isolated moves. Learning to use his moves in combination will come with tutelage from his Defensive Line Coach, Clyde Simmons, who worked with Aaron Donald before he came to Cleveland.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In redraft formats, we need to monitor the foot injury Garrett suffered in minicamp. He was seen in a walking boot after the injury and the Browns have called the injury a left lateral foot sprain. The team projected that he will be ready for training camp. If that is truly the case, Garrett could easily finish in the top twenty among defensive lineman in typical formats. Six to eight sacks and forty solo tackles are well within reach in his first NFL season.

In dynasty formats, Garrett is a player to be excited about long-term. Cleveland has made him the centerpiece of their defense and he profiles as a defensive end that will log double-digit sacks perennially in his prime. If the defensive scoring is competitive with the offensive scoring in your league, he merits a mid-second round selection in your rookie draft.

2017 PROJECTIONS

AARON RUDNICKI’S PROJECTIONS

G

TKL

AST

SCK

FF

FR

PD

INT

TD

FPT

16

38

20

8

2

1

3

0

0

117 .50

JOHN NORTON'S PROJECTIONS

G

TKL

AST

SCK

FF

FR

PD

INT

TD

FPT

16

41

20

8

2

1

2

0

0

120 .50

OTHER VIEWPOINTS

Zach Hicks of Breaking Football believes that Garrett is the best player he’s seen on tape:

Myles Garrett is easily the best overall player in this draft. He has the bend, athleticism, size, and strength to be the next elite player in the NFL. I have been scouting players for the NFL Draft since 2011 and Garrett is easily the best player I have watched.

Steve Shoup of Fanspeak.com feels as if some are too critical of Garrett: 

While some try to nitpick Garrett, there just aren’t negatives there that should be of any real concern to NFL teams. He is just too dominant of a player and minor concerns about him being slightly better in this area or that, shouldn’t even be blips on the radar. If he stays healthy, there is little reason to believe that Garrett won’t be an elite edge player for a long time.

Former NFL defensive end Stephen White has some bones to pick with Garrett’s game:

So to recap, I definitely see Myles Garrett as being a first-round pick. He will be a quality player for seven to 10 years, provided he stays healthy. But his effort bothers me. I just don't see a player on tape who would be a hands down first pick in the draft in most years. There is a lot to like about the kid, but I just didn't see anything special when I watched his film. At the end of the day what caught my eye about him was still just two plays against Tunsil, and sometimes initial impressions are just flat out wrong. I may well be wrong about Garrett. If I am, I'm sure y'all will waste no time in pointing it out to me. But that's what the tape is telling me about him, so that's what I'm telling you.”