There is no doubt that Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is one of the most prolific pass-rushers in the NFL.
While he may not be quite as prolific as J.J. Watt was in his heyday, or as prolific as T.J. Watt is today, most would still agree that Garrett is elite.
In 2021, he ranked third in the NFL in sacks with 16 while also recording 17 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hits.
At age 26, the best could very well be ahead for Garrett, but he has already had a fairly productive career for the Browns.
Cleveland made Garrett the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after he had been an All-American at Texas A&M University.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, he wowed observers with his 41-inch vertical leap and great speed, along with his size at 6-foot-4 and about 270 pounds.
The Browns quickly signed him to a four-year contract that was fully guaranteed and worth $30.41 million, leading to high expectations for him as a rookie.
An ankle sprain cost him the first several games of the 2017 season, but when he made his pro debut in Week 5 versus the New York Jets, he sacked quarterback Josh McCown twice.
Unfortunately, a concussion resulted in more downtime for Garrett at midseason.
In his second season, he started to prove he was worthy of the hype and the money he was getting.
He had 13.5 sacks that year along with 29 QB hits, and he earned himself a trip to the Pro Bowl as a result.
In 2019, Garrett put up 10 sacks in 10 games, and it was considered a bit of a down season for him because of some inexcusable actions.
Garrett Was Involved In Some Extracurriculars
In Week 1 of the 2019 campaign, Garrett smacked Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker in the face after the end of a play.
The following week, he delivered an unnecessary hit on New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian which resulted in him sustaining a season-ending ACL injury.
The NFL levied some heavy fines on Garrett as a result.
Then, in Week 11, came an infamous incident where he got involved in a fight with Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph after knocking him to the ground on a late hit.
After Rudolph reacted violently, Garrett ripped off the signal-caller’s helmet and hit him in the head with it.
Myles Garrett, 2019 dirty plays
Week 1: Punched Titans TE Delanie Walker after whistle
Week 2: Ended Jets QB Trevor Siemian's season on late hit
Week 11: Struck Steelers QB Mason Rudolph over head with helmet#NFL pic.twitter.com/8I0QpCtBKK
— MSportOfficial (@MSportOfficial) November 15, 2019
Another look at Myles Garrett smashing his own helmet into Mason Rudolph's head pic.twitter.com/Aq57iW5Ird
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 15, 2019
Because of his actions, Garrett was suspended for the rest of the season, and the combined incidents earned him a reputation outside of Northeast Ohio as a dirty player.
Garrett Was Elite In 2021
Still, no one can argue with what he did this past season, which was the best of his five-year career.
He has been named to both the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro First-team in both of the last two years, which is proof that even if some regard him as a thug, there is almost universal respect for his abilities on the gridiron.
If Garrett continues to serve up the kind of production he had in 2021, he could start to mount an argument as maybe the best pass rusher in the league.
Overall grade: B+
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