On the first day of the 2017 NFL Draft, Thomas George of SB Nation was in contact with the agent of DE Myles Garrett. In the early evening hours, they weren’t 100 percent certain what the Cleveland Browns were going to do. But with an hour and a half to go before the draft, George reported that the Browns had informed Garrett he would be the No. 1 overall pick.
Although we reported it, the news was barely a blip on the radar of the local or national news. As the draft got closer and other reporters were at Garrett’s draft party, they were reporting that Garrett still wasn’t certain who would draft him. I called it a charade to play up to the cameras, and Garrett unearthing a Cleveland shirt after the pick was official confirmed that (at least in my mind).
Anyway, George is at it again with another exclusive. Last week at rookie minicamp, Garrett made headlines when he noted that Hall of Fame DE Bruce Smith told him he was “slow off the ball.” When didn’t get many details beyond that, but George was able to reach out to Smith and ask him to elaborate:
"To that end, where I tried to give him meaningful advice, I said he was slow off the ball at times, and what I meant by that term is you have to come off that edge in simultaneous movement with the ball. The word slow is not as important as saying he is a little late, a little hesitant at times at the snap. I encouraged him to use that advantage where he knows tendencies, he knows formations and he has the ability to get a quicker jump, especially playing in his own stadium when the crowd noise makes it difficult for the offense to hear signals. A fraction of a second can make a difference in getting a quality hit on the quarterback. And we know that maybe the most valuable play for a defense is the sack/fumble."
Smith also talked about Garrett's thirst for knowledge, studying film for an hour and a half with him, and how he has a bright future in the NFL. Smith also explained how he wishes the league would use former players like himself more to help put these youngsters on the right path:
"The NFL should use former players and Hall of Famers more. It is our duty to help these young men. There are invaluable lessons to be taught. I wish I had a Deacon Jones in my first or second year in the league. I hope the time spent with Myles will help him become an impact player faster in the league."
You can read what else Smith had to say about Garrett over at SB Nation.