Former Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett has emerged as the consensus No. 1 overall pick. That consensus does not include Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp.
“I don’t see it from this kid,” Sapp told Adam Schefter of ESPN. “I see the splash plays; everybody gets those. Where’s the game he took over? Where? Any defensive lineman who’s the No. 1 pick, you turn up and you say, ‘There it is!’ This kid, no, I don’t. I’m a pretty plain and frank guy, and I watch the tape and he disappears. I watch the tape, and he absolutely disappears.”
So why does pretty much everyone but Sapp have Garrett at No. 1?
“It’s all about measurable,” Sapp said. “Once you hit the measurable, it’s tough to get them old scout people off the numbers, and that’s what [Garrett] has. He’s big, and he’s fast. Now some defensive line coach is thinking, ‘I can turn him into something.’ How? I’m trying to figure this out. Really? Are we lowering the bar? . . .
“I see a lazy kid that makes four plays a game. This is the No. 1 guy? No, no, no. This ain’t even close.”
So that’s the news: Sapp doesn’t think Garrett should be the No. 1 overall pick. Fine. That’s his prerogative to disagree with the manner in which the wind has been consistently blowing — although some have indeed raised the point that Garrett doesn’t dominate often enough on tape to justify the belief that he’ll dominate at the next level.
Next comes the more intriguing part, from our perspective: How did this story come to be?
Schefter, who primarily tweets and talks, has taken the time to write up an article with strong, opinionated quotes from someone who currently isn’t the in NFL in a coaching, scouting, playing, or media capacity. It’s fair to ask why.
This doesn’t fit with Schefter’s usual role of generating information, mainly transactional, on a neverending basis. (And he does that better than anyone at this point.) It’s a hard right turn for him, and it’s hard not to wonder whether this is Schefter’s way of showcasing an opinion contrary to the “Garrett is No. 1” viewpoint as a favor to someone in the Cleveland front office who is trying to push back against Garrett being Cleveland’s first overall pick.
Consider this portion of the article: “Still, Garrett is considered the favorite to go No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns, who used the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 draft on Penn State defensive end Courtney Brown. ‘I don’t think this kid is as good as Courtney Brown either,’ Sapp said.” That feels like a stern warning to whoever will be breaking the tie in Cleveland regarding the potential pitfall of using the No. 1 overall pick on Garrett.