The Browns did a complete teardown a year ago. It resulted in a 1-15 campaign, but also clinched Cleveland the No. 1 pick.
Defensive end Myles Garrett, the reward for such a disparaging season, is one of the most valuable assets in the NFL. He and veteran tackle Joe Thomas were ranked on NFL Spin Zone’s top 50 most untradeable players list.
Thomas, an elite left tackle for the last decade, was ranked 44th. That seems low for a player of his stature, but at 32 years old, his value is depreciating regardless of performance. He’s endured a share of difficult seasons, yet signed an extension and has remained committed to the franchise.
Thomas is a 10-time Pro Bowl pick and seven-time First-Team All-Pro. His career will likely earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Garrett came in at No. 38, which is fair for someone who hasn’t played an NFL down. Garrett was lauded as one of the better pass rushing prospects in recent memory. He was the consensus best player in the 2017 draft, which prompted the Browns to pass on the quarterback options and pick Garrett.
“This one is all about hope,” Randy Gurzi of Spin Zone said. “The Cleveland Browns have been a terrible franchise for far too long. Just as we spoke about Joe Thomas and the stability he brings to the offense, that’s what they hope to get out of first overall pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett. The defensive end out of Texas A&M obviously won’t have that strong veteran presence Thomas offers, but he can be a vocal leader that teammates will buy into.”
The Browns’ defense could be better than people think. Its ceiling depends on how quickly Garrett develops. In a year, ranking at 38 might be too low.