Now that the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone, we have a clearer look at the player pool teams will be selecting from in late April. The Browns own the top overall pick and I was curious to find out what other team executives expect them to do with that selection. Do they fall in love with a quarterback? Do they add some firepower to their pass rush? Or, do they follow last year's playbook and trade down?
I reached out to five personnel executives and posed this question: Who will the Browns select with the first overall pick? Here are their answers.
Executive 1: Texas A&M Myles Garrett
"I don't think the Browns have a choice. ... It has to be Myles Garrett. He has such rare physical tools. He's clearly the best player in the draft."
Executive 2: Garrett
"Garrett makes the most sense. The Browns are switching to a 4-3 defense and he fits perfectly. He's the best player available and he fits what they need."
Executive 3: Garrett
"There's no quarterback this year worthy of the first pick. Plus, next year's QB class is going to be much better than this group. So, if you reach for a quarterback this year, you miss out on a player like Garrett and you remove yourself from taking a much better QB next year? That doesn't make any sense. Just take Garrett at No. 1."
Executive 4: Garrett
"Don't overthink it. Garrett is an elite talent at the second most important position on the field."
Executive 5: Garrett
"I'd be shocked if they don't pick Garrett. I guess they could trade down, but they did that last year and missed out on (Carson) Wentz. I thought that was a big mistake."
Summary: It's a sweep for Garrett.
Conclusion: All five executives agreed that the Browns should and will end up selecting Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the first overall pick. I agree. I believe Garrett is the best player in this draft class and he would give the Browns something they desperately need -- an elite defensive player. They have added several quality players in the last few drafts, but they lack blue-chip, difference-making talent. Garrett has all of the tools to quickly emerge as one of the NFL's top edge rushers.
The Browns need to upgrade the quarterback position, but I don't think it would be smart to use this first pick to address that need. There simply isn't a signal-caller worthy of the top spot in this draft class.