PHILADELPHIA -- Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett was the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday, giving the Cleveland Browns an anchor on defense while not addressing the long-standing vacancy for a franchise quarterback.
Cleveland selected Garrett with the first of 11 picks the Browns held entering the draft, a bounty bolstered in part by dealing the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft to the Philadelphia Eagles.
For only the sixth time since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999, the No. 1 pick was not a quarterback.
At 6-foot-4, 272 pounds, Garrett had a 4.64 40-yard dash (1.57 in the first 10 yards), a 41-inch vertical and 10-7 broad jump. The defensive end has been the presumptive No. 1 pick for months, even with the Browns leading a gaggle of teams in the top 10 with uncertainty at quarterback.
Garrett bears some physical similarities to 2014 No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, the South Carolina All-American who has been dogged by minor injuries with the Houston Texans.
"We spent a lot of time with him," Browns vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. "We learned a lot about what makes him tick, what motivates him, how he spends his downtime, how he spends his time with his teammates. He's an enjoyable young man ... bright, competitive. Whatever team gets him, particularly if it's us, would be proud to have him."
Clamoring for a quarterback in Cleveland is nothing new, although an argument could be made the need for a game-changing defensive end was a level priority. The Browns registered 26 sacks last season (31st) and were also next-to-last in total defense.
Garrett did not attend the draft but celebrated with family and friends in Arlington, Texas.
Cleveland, which parted with quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown in the offseason, traded the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft to the Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz). Now the Browns are a candidate to make a move Thursday -- up from the No. 12 pick acquired via the Philly trade -- in an attempt to finally settle the QB spot that has housed 27 different starters since 1999.
Garrett was often double-teamed and an ankle injury slowed him down in 2016. He finished his three-year career with 32.5 career sacks and seven forced fumbles in 36 games.
"Special ability to get upfield quicker than most due to his combination of explosive athleticism, length and football intuition," NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Dane Brugler said of Garrett. "Should make an immediate NFL impact rushing the passer."
He did not play 70 percent of defensive snaps in any season with the Aggies, and critics do exist based on long stretches without game-changing plays.
The head-turning workout at the NFL Scouting Combine cemented the opinion of many scouts that Garrett was the top talent in the draft. NFLDraftScout.com had Garrett at the top of its rankings throughout the 2016 season all the way to Thursday, even as speculation mounted that the Browns could still opt for North Carolina junior quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.