BEREA, Ohio -- As a highly touted prospect leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, Cleveland Browns rookie defensive lineman Myles Garrett learned that anything he does or says on social media will become headlines across the country.
From a video pleading with the Dallas Cowboys to trade up to No. 1 and take him to comments about sacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in his very first game, Garrett has made much-publicized statements, and that is not going to change anytime soon.
“I’m going to be myself, and I’m not going to hide,” Garrett said at Browns rookie minicamp. “I’m going to be respectful. The team comes first. I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize them or myself, just make sure I speak lightly and carry a big stick.”
Cleveland Browns to select DL Myles Garrett with No. 1 overall pick
When asked about the Roethlisberger quote, Garrett refused to back down from those words.
“I think that was kind of blown up, but stand by,” Garrett said. “We’re looking to get after him. Why should I be afraid of saying those kinds of things?
“That’s what any team would say or any player would say. You’re trying to make a name for yourself. You’re trying to go out there and win games just like they are. They’re not going to shy away from the challenge, and neither are we.”
The Browns selected the former Texas A&M defensive stalwart with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft last month.
In 34 games over his three years with the Aggies, Garrett registered 141 total tackles, including 81 solo stops and 60 assists, with 31.0 quarterback sacks, seven forced fumbles, one recovery, five passes defended and one interception.
After having 11 and 11.5 sacks in each of his first two years at Texas A&M, Garrett registered 8.5 sacks during the 2016 season despite playing much of the year with a high ankle sprain.
In a career-low 10 games because of the high ankle sprain, Garrett saw significant dips in productivity as it relates to tackles (33), solo stops (18) and assists (15), as well as forced fumbles (two) from the previous season, but still registered 15 tackles for lost yardage.
And for those wondering what kind of impact Garrett will have in the NFL, he says not to worry, unless you are on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage.
“My answer is my play,” Garrett said. “I go out there and show it with what I do. I can’t really speak on it or say I’m going to change or I’m going to do better. You just have to wait and see.
“I’m going to be a playmaker. No matter where they put me at or what kind of plays they have, I know they’re going to put me in the best position to make plays. I’m not really bothered. They’re going to blitz me. They’re going to let me go and wreck havoc, and I’m excited for it.”