For a long time now, the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft seemed to be a lock.
The Browns, having earned the top choice with their horrendous 1-15 season, were assumed to be committed to Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the consensus top talent available.
Yet ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that the Browns now are torn between taking Garrett and North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. If that were to happen, the 49ers – sitting at No. 2 – would have the top prospect in the draft fall into their lap.
One NFL executive told ESPN.com, “Don’t be surprised if Myles Garrett isn’t the No. 1 pick.”
Garrett, at 6-foot-4 and 272 pounds, this past season was a first-team All-America pick after collecting 8½ sacks and making 15 tackles for loss in 11 games, all while slowed a bit by an early-season knee injury. In 2015, he had 12 sacks and 19½ tackles for loss.
Garrett not only has excelled on the field but was impressive at the NFL Combine and in interviews and other workouts.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com noted in his scouting report following the combine that Garrett’s athleticism and talent point “toward an All-Pro career.”
And, he’d be a bonanza for the 49ers, who want to upgrade their pass rush in a scheme that is expected to feature a 4-3 base defense in which Garrett could be at home at defensive end.
But, it could also be a draft smokescreen by the Browns. Schefter earlier reported that Cleveland had given Garrett an “astronomical grade” in its draft evaluation report.
What’s equally interesting is that Trubisky’s stock has risen so much that he’s now considered a possible No. 1 overall pick after starting just one season at North Carolina.