The majority of NFL draft experts have the Cleveland Browns taking Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick, as the Texas A&M pass-rusher is considered the best player in this year’s draft.
But just in case the Browns decide to use that pick on someone else, Garrett issued them a warning.
During an interview with ESPN the Magazine’s Sam Alipour, Garrett said he should be the top pick and the Browns would regret it if they passed on him.
“Because I’ll be a difference maker from day one,” Garrett said. “And I’m not gonna be in any trouble. I’m just gonna make plays and bring a good atmosphere to your organization. And I’m gonna start winning and winning now. And because if you don’t draft me No. 1, I will punish your team for the next 10 to 12 years. I’ll knock your QB out of the game every time we play you, and I’ll have to kick the hell out of No. 1, whoever it is.”
Garrett acknowledged he got a positive vibe from Jackson during that dinner about going No. 1. The Browns appear set to take him, but have maintained they’re still considering others too.
“He wasn’t guaranteeing anything, but he said he’d be happy to take me,” said Garrett.
And if Jackson asked him which team he wanted to play for?
“The No. 1 team,” he said. “Hopefully the Browns.”
What about that infamous video in which he begged Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to trade up to draft him?
“Oh, darn! (Jackson) didn’t even bring that up at dinner,” Garrett said. “The Cowboys are my hometown team, but when push comes to shove, I want to go No. 1. I don’t want trades, wondering where my fate lies. Whoever has the first pick, just go ahead and take me. I have no allegiance. I want to go No. 1.”
Garrett, who’s been described as a generational pass-rusher, revealed he intends to be the greatest player who ever roamed the earth.
“You can compare me to those wide receivers and the great stars of the league, but I want to show that I’m in a league of my own,” Garrett said. “I don’t want anybody to be like me. By the end of my career, I don’t want to hear talk of another Myles Garrett. I want to be the greatest. The greatest that ever played, regardless of position or era. They say that’s Jerry Rice. If his total greatness is considered the best of all time, I want to exceed that.”
En route to becoming the G.O.A.T., Garrett has his eye on the prize for sacks and other accolades.
“I gotta win Defensive Player of the Year, whether it’s my first year or anywhere down the line, but that’s what I’m going for in my first year,” he said. “I want to be the sack leader. I want to lead in TFLs (tackle for loss). I want to be dominant from day one. I want the single-season sack record.
“Rookie year and throughout. I wanna break the rookie-year sack total as well. And I want to be in the career top 10 for sacks, but I don’t know if I’ll play that long.
“I’ll play 10 to 12 years, long enough to leave my mark on the history of the game, but I also want to spend time with my family. I want to be there for my kids in all their spectacular moments. I want to teach them to have soft hearts and to care and to show their kindness and humility to others. And I want to travel the world and help people. I want to give money and build wells. I want to build houses and do fossil digs.”
Garrett isn’t just about football. He’s also a big fan of dinosaurs and poetry.
“I didn’t know how this would play out when I was a kid. I knew I wanted to play ball, be a paleontologist and write poetry,” Garrett said. “I thought, ‘Heck, where will I find the time? Well, football comes first, and I’ll just find some time for poetry, and paleontology can come at the end.’ I made this plan at 14, and dang, it’s all coming together. The day I’ve been dreaming of is tomorrow. Now I have to face it. I’ll either attack it and win or get swallowed by it.”
Garrett said he’s been asked multiple times if he’s “too nice for football.”
“Yeah, got that a couple of times. I’m nice now, but everything changes when I put the helmet on,” Garrett said. “If you smack me in the head, you think I’m gonna smile at you? I’ll smile at you after I kick the crap out of you and your QB. I come from a family of athletes and competitors. We know when to turn it off and on. You’re loving at the dinner table, but when we’re playing Scrabble or we’re in the yard, there’s no mercy.”
During the interview, Alipour’s favorite barista, Alejandro, who is a Browns fan, ask Garrett if he could handle the burden of being the one to save the city of Cleveland.
“Myles, I’m counting on you to save the city,” Alejandro asked Garrett. “LeBron can’t because this is a football town. Do you want that burden?”
“So I’m the Chosen One now? Wow,” Garrett said with a laugh. “I’m up for the challenge, though. It doesn’t bother me. I’m looking to achieve my goals, and one of them is to win a title for the team that drafts me. Well, one title would be nice — three would be great.”
That Garrett can be so sure of himself and yet not come across as arrogant is one of the reasons he is considered such a can’t-miss prospect, why the perennially quarterback-needy Browns almost have no choice but to select him with the first pick. The Browns need a sure thing, and Garrett is as close as they come.