ESPN has been going position-by-position to rank the top players at each position, based on results from more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players. We haven’t covered all of the positions, but some of them have already caused a stir — like why Nick Chubb wasn’t ranked higher among running backs.
With us being in the middle of previewing the Browns’ defensive line for training camp, it timed up well that ESPN just released their ranking on the best edge rushers in the NFL. Myles Garrett may be the highest-paid defensive player in the league now, but on this list, he still ranks fifth:
Raw talent and a wild combination of speed to power have him knocking on the door of the top three. But many coaches and evaluators say he’s not there yet; they’re waiting on him to put it all together.
“You can set up a plan to neutralize him,” an NFL defensive coach said. “He won’t dominate each game plan. You do build the plan around him. He gets long in his movement, can’t take those quick 3-4 seconds around the edge.”
A different assistant says Garrett has “first-ballot ability” and completely dominates whole games at times, as evidenced by his 26.2% pass rush win rate. But that dominance comes and goes. In 10 games last year, Garrett had zero sacks in four of them, and two or more in three of them.
“If it’s going well early, he’s unstoppable,” the coach said. “If he starts slow, it’s survival mode until it’s a passing down. A physical tackle with decent ability makes him struggle a little bit.”
Then there’s the six-game suspension last year for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet. The evaluators interviewed about Garrett didn’t condone the incident and cited it an example of immaturity, but also didn’t label Garrett a character concern. He simply made a mistake, most say. As far as pass-rushing traits, only Khalil Mack has more than Garrett, several execs said.
I don’t have an issue with anything that was said there. In fact, when I talked about Garrett the other day, I said that he hasn’t even realized his fullest potential yet, and that his biggest fault was getting frustrated when he didn’t get off to a great start in a game.
The players ranked in front of Garrett include Khalil Mack, Chandler Jones, Nick Bosa, and Von Miller.