For all the talk that Myles Garrett will be the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Browns head coach Hue Jackson isn’t ready to commit.
At least not publicly, yet.
In an interview with NFL Network that aired Monday evening during ‘Path to the Draft’ Jackson did not say the team has zeroed in on the defensive end from Texas A&M.
“That decision has not been made yet,” Jackson told the network. “Obviously, there’s going to be several players that we’re going to have an opportunity to draft and put on our football team. We get to control the draft from the first pick in the draft, but after that it’s kind of who’s going to be there but we’re going to have an opportunity to put a good player on our football team early.”
The Browns hold the top overall selection this year following the worst season in franchise history that saw them finish 1-15 after opening the season with 14 consecutive defeats.
Cleveland holds the Nos. 1, 12, 33, 52 and 65 picks in the upcoming draft. The 12th and 52nd picks came through trades. In fact, the Browns hold a combined 8 selections in the first and second rounds of the next 2 drafts thanks in part to a multitude of moves made over the last 14 months.
“Our executive staff did a great job of positioning us for this year to give us an opportunity to improve our football team,” Jackson said.
Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown stunned the NFL world on March 9 when he acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans along with a 2017 sixth-round pick (No. 188 overall) and 2018 second-round pick for a 2017 fourth-round pick (No. 142).
The deal saved the Texans Osweiler’s $16 million salary and took $10 million cap hit off their books.
Jackson was asked if Osweiler is a part of the Browns’ immediate future.
“He is. Obviously, he’s a player on our team and we’re gonna treat him just like we do our other quarterbacks until he’s not,” Jackson said. “He’s a guy that’s gonna come in and compete. We haven’t had an opportunity to meet with him from a football standpoint because of the rules. But once we start our offseason program, phase one, we’ll get a chance to get to know him and he’ll get to know us.”
While hardly a ringing endorsement, it sounds like Osweiler will at least be with the team when the Browns begin offseason workouts on April 17.