Myles Garrett revealed coach Hue Jackson said he would be happy to draft him, and the defensive end from Texas A&M promised to haunt the Browns if they don’t select him first overall on April 27.
Garrett made those comments in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN The Magazine’sSam Alipour. The story, set to appear in the magazine’s April 24NFL draft issue.
The Browns have long been expected to draft Garrett at No. 1 overall.
“(Jackson) had dinner with me,” said Garrett, who has privately worked out for the Browns. “He wasn’t guaranteeing anything, but he said he’d be happy to take me.”
But the Browns haven’t had a long-term answer at quarterback since they cut Bernie Kosar in 1993, so why should they use the first pick on Garrett?
“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.”
Garrett insisted he wants to play for whichever team has the No. 1 pick.
“Hopefully the Browns,” he added.
Garrett reiterated he would embrace a chance to join the Browns despite begging the Dallas Cowboys in an ESPN video to trade with Cleveland so the Arlington, Texas, native could play for his hometown team. The video was shot in December, and Garrett said last month at the NFL Scouting Combine he would apologize to the Browns about it.
“(Jackson) didn’t even bring that up at dinner,” Garrett said of the viral video. “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.”
Barring an unexpected trade, no one will have the top selection other than the Browns.
Jackson said two weeks ago at the NFL owners meetings he doesn’t want to trade down from No. 1. Head of football operations Sashi Brown said the Browns know some teams will be interested in dealing for the pick and they’ll listen to offers, but they also “feel good about some of the players that are going to be available at the top of the draft.”
Jackson said, “There’s going to be a player that I think will be very good for our organization at (No.) 1. I would not like to trade (down), but if there’s something, an opportunity to make our team better, I’m sure we’ll discuss anything and everything. I think that’s what you do. We all know there’s going to be some fine players at No. 1 to make our football team better.”
The signs continue to point to the Browns picking Garrett, especially because new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves him and Jackson conceded he doesn’t know if there’s a quarterback in this draft class who “separates himself from the other as much.”
Jackson explained he thinks a No. 1 pick should “be a very dominant player, you want him to be a cornerstone player, you want him to be a generational player. I think that’s got to be the focus as we continue to move forward.”
Garrett aspires to live up to every bit of hype associated with the top selection.
“By the end of my career, I don’t want to hear talk of another Myles Garrett,” he 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.”
He later added, “I gotta win Defensive Player of the Year, whether it’s my first year or anywhere down the line, but that’s what I’m going for in my first year. I want to be the sack leader. I want to lead in (tackles for loss). I want to be dominant from Day One. I want the single-season sack record.”
He’s also willing to accept the burden of being labeled a savior in sports-crazed 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.”
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