NFL Draft 2017: Browns need to pick Myles Garrett at No. 1

What will the Cleveland Browns be thinking in the 2017 NFL Draft? Here we break down their five core questions and provide our best answers.

What will the Cleveland Browns be thinking in the 2017 NFL Draft? Well, we think we know what they're doing with the No. 1 pick, but the rest is up for debate.

Here we break down their five core draft questions and provide our best answers.

NFL Draft 2017: Mock Draft | Big Board

NFL Draft 2017: Cleveland Browns

1. Should the Browns consider anyone other than Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall?

No.

The Browns are a bad overall team, and they need the best possible talent to start turning things around. Garrett is a transcendent edge rusher and the clear-cut top prospect in the 2017 class, regardless of whether he's considered an end or an outside linebacker.

Don't believe rumors about the Browns weighing whether to instead draft North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky or LSU RB Leonard Fournette. Those are smokescreens for teams picking right after them. Barring an unlikely, great offer for the Browns to trade down, the former Texas A&M stud — with a higher ceiling than Von Miller — is headed to Cleveland.

2. What will the Browns do at quarterback?

After they presumably take Garrett at No. 1, the Browns' focus will shift to whether they pull the trigger on Trubisky or another QB with their second first-round pick. Between No. 2 and No. 11, the 49ers, Bears and Jets are the three teams most likely to take the first QB, but it's unlikely two will be off the board before No. 12.

Trubisky, a Cleveland native with the size and arm profile coach Hue Jackson likes, is the leader to be the QB of choice. But given his limited starting experience in college, its by no means a hometown lock, as the Browns easily could prefer a value at another position. If Trubisky is gone but the Browns still want a QB, Clemson's Deshaun Watson would be the pick.

If not, the Browns can wait until the first pick in the second round (No. 33) for someone such as Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes, Cal's Davis Webb or Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer. Of the three, Webb is emerging the best option for that selection, with Mahomes now likely gone in the top 25. Although they have the prime example of Dak Prescott 2016, the Browns not having taken a QB by Round 3 would be shocking.


3. Can the Browns afford to take a tight end at No. 12?

Yes. Their two first-rounders provide a team even as needy as Cleveland with some luxury.

Really, the Browns are so needy that a unique, athletic pass-catcher would be a big difference-making security blanket for whoever ends up as their QB. So Alabama's O.J. Howard isn't a stretch there. If they go QB at No. 12, the Browns should then be heavily in play for someone such as Ole Miss' Evan Engram at No. 33.

4. How early should the Browns target wide receiver and running back?

The Browns signed Kenny Britt to replace Terrelle Pryor in free agency. They also are coming off in a 2016 draft in which they picked four wideouts, including first-rounder Corey Coleman and rising Ricardo Louis.

That won't necessarily stop them from thinking about Clemson's Mike Williams or Western Michigan's Corey Davis as early as No. 12, right along with Howard. A smarter plan might be waiting until No. 52 or No. 65, where Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp, East Carolina's Zay Jones and USC's JuJu Smith-Schuster are among the standout options.

Although running back, Fournette or otherwise, is a longshot in the first round, the position should also be in play for the second and third rounds, where Cleveland has been tied to controversial Oklahoma prospect Joe Mixon. The Browns also could wait until Day 3 and target Oklahoma's Samaje Perrine, Texas' D'Onta Foreman or Clemson's Wayne Gallman. Expect Cleveland to come away with a good complementary prospect from each position.

MORE: Top 10 RBs in NFL Draft

5. What late-round defensive backs might the Browns draft?

Cleveland can't become totally consumed with quarterback/offensive weapons and forget its big needs in the defensive secondary. At pick No. 52, Cleveland's best bet at cornerback is USC's Adoree' Jackson. A round or two later, Tennessee's Cameron Sutton should be in play, and on Day 3, Florida State's Marquez White could be a steal.

A good potential third-rounder at safety is Florida's Marcus Maye, who would make the Browns feel better about missing out on LSU's Jamal Adams and Ohio State's Malik Hooker. Alabama's Eddie Jackson (fourth round) and Michigan State's Montae Nicholson (fifth or sixth round) are notable sleepers, too.

SN's 2017 Mock Drafts: Browns picks

— Eric Galko (from April 11 Mock Draft)

No. 1: Garrett. He will be the choice for the Browns with their first overall pick. Browns fans not only should be excited to get the best player in the draft, but they also are getting one of the best defensive prospects since 2000.

No. 12: Adams. Garrett and Adams are the top two players on our draft board, and more than a few NFL teams agree. The Browns can get both thanks to their possession of the first overall pick and the fact that safeties rarely are drafted high. Cleveland can get its quarterback later, and a trade for one is unlikely.

No. 29 (projected trade with Packers): Watson. We don’t believe the Browns necessarily want to draft a quarterback in Round 1, but the price of moving up four spots to get a QB like Watson for five years is too tempting. The Packers can move down four spots and still add a top defensive end or cornerback, and the Browns can get a top-three quarterback.

— Vinnie Iyer (from April 10 Mock Draft)

No. 1: Garrett. Cleveland will have a hard time screwing up this pick, especially now that the team won't trade it (based on what coach Hue Jackson has said). Garrett looks the part of the NFL’s next dominant edge rusher with his exceptional athleticism and playmaking skills. The top overall prospect in the class would be a no-brainer for any team picking first this year.

No. 12: Trubisky. He might as well prepare now for the pressure of trying to become Cleveland’s QB savior as a hometown product. He doesn’t offer the same winning resume, flair or ceiling of other QBs in this draft, but he does a bit of everything well enough to round out nicely under Jackson.

MORE: NFL Draft order, general info

Browns 2017 NFL Draft picks

First round: No. 1 overall

First round: No. 17 overall (from Eagles)

Second round: No. 33 overall

Second round: No. 52 overall (from Titans)

Third round: No. 65 overall

Fourth round: No. 108 overall

Fifth round: No. 145 overall

Fifth round: No. 175 overall (from Patriots)

Fifth round: No. 181 overall (compensatory)

Sixth round: No. 185 overall

Sixth round: No. 188 overall (from Texans through Bears)


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