BEREA, OHIO - The main event of Cleveland Browns training camp will have to wait for another day.
But in what was the first official practice of his pro career, Myles Garrett did his best to ensure the dream match that has Berea buzzing remains alive and well.
The No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft was the star of the show during what was an otherwise mundane first day of Browns training camp on Thursday. Albeit not yet practicing in pads, the 6-foot-4, 272-pound defensive end consistently beat whichever offensive lineman was in front of him, at one point busting out a celebratory flex to commemorate his success.
"I give credit to our executive team," Browns head coach Hue Jackson said following practice. "We drafted the right one."
Only it's one thing to bull rush a fellow rookie – as Garrett did against Rod Johnson – and another to take on a perennial Pro Bowler. The Texas A&M product should eventually have the opportunity to do just that when Browns 11th-year left tackle Joe Thomas takes the field.
A Pro Bowl selection in each of his first 10 years in the league, Thomas sat out practice on Thursday in an attempt to limit his wear and tear. When he does make his way onto the practice field, however, all eyes will be on the matchup between Cleveland cornerstones, future and present.
"It can be a really good teaching moment," Jackson said. "Joe is up for that challenge, trust me. He is looking forward to it. It is going to happen."
Until then, Jackson says Garrett still has plenty to work on, despite his strong first impression. Specifically, Cleveland's second-year head coach would like to ensure that his new prized prospect isn't merely a one-day wonder.
"As I told Myles, he has to do it every day," Jackson said. "Keep working at it, keep his head down, stay humble and keep working. I think the young man will do that.”
It's just one day, but so far, the reigning No. 1 overall pick has looked as good as advertised.
Whether or not that will still be the case once he squares off against Thomas remains to be seen. But after Garrett's training debut, the anticipation for Berea's biggest battle of the summer is only continuing to build.
"When is it going to happen? I don’t know," Jackson admitted. "But I know it is going to happen at some point in time. It is going to be a good challenge for them both and we are looking forward to that.”
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