CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but what should they do with the first choice?
Throughout much of the offseason, the Browns have been expected to pick Texas A&M defensive lineman Myles Garrett, but reports have surfaced over the last few days linking Cleveland to local quarterback Mitch Trubisky, as well as possibly trading down for the third time in four years.
Here are the positives and negatives to Garrett, Trubisky and trading down.
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.
At the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, Garrett shined in all of the drills, both on and off the field.
Among all defensive line prospects, Garrett placed sixth in the 40-yard dash (4.64 seconds), second in the bench press (33 repetitions), first in the vertical jump (41.0 inches) and third in the broad jump (128.0 inches).
PASSING ON GARRETT
After having 11 and 11.5 sacks in each of his first two years at Texas A&M, Garrett registered just 8.5 sacks. In a career-low 10 games in 2016, 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.
In his final collegiate game, the athletically gifted Garrett did not make a single tackle.
Trubisky was a full-time starter for only one season, but he was very productive for the Tar Heels, who went 8-5 overall and finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division with a 5-3 record in league play.
Trubisky completed 304 of his 446 attempts (68.2 percent) for 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns against just six interceptions in 2016. He finished his final year at North Carolina with a 158.3 quarterback rating.
PASSING ON TRUBISKY
After winning just one game during the 2016 season, the Browns have plenty of needs on the depth chart, including but not limited to the secondary and offensive playmakers.
The Browns could be in need of three starters in the secondary with Pro Bowl alternate Joe Haden locking down one of the cornerback spots and Jamar Taylor filling the role of nickel back against unconventional formations.
Add in the fact that tight end Gary Barnidge had an off year after a Pro Bowl 2015 season and the five rookie pass catchers struggling with injuries and productivity issues, the Browns should use early picks to build other parts of the team.
Aside from the positives of gaining more assets in this and future NFL drafts, the Browns have to turn those assets into players, and that was not exactly a strength of theirs in 2016.
Of the 14 picks made in 2016, the Browns got meaningful season-long contributions from just one player, defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. While others -- quarterback Cody Kessler, defensive end Carl Nassib and wide receiver Corey Coleman -- showed flashes of talent, all three had significant injury issues that hampered their growth and limited playing time.
For the Browns to truly get on the right track after years of struggles, they have to focus on quality over quantity, stick with the majority of their early-round selections and select players that can have an impact on a team devoid of playmakers.
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