Garrett finished No. 16 on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2021, finishing as the top defensive end in the rankings. Garrett was worthy of the top spot, collecting 12 sacks, two pass deflections and four forced fumbles in just 14 games.
But still, Garrett was disappointed and took note of the rankings, sending a message to the rest of the NFL.
“Remember this,” Garrett tweeted, “15 people better than me. Noted.”
Garrett did get some nice compliments from his teammates and contemporaries.
“He does what he wants,” Garrett’s Browns teammate Jarvis Landry said. “When he puts his hand on the ground, he’s coming after you.”
There are only two defenders left among the top 10, which will be released on Sunday. NFL Media released the top 10 players in alphabetical order this week, which included: Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams, Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen (No. 87); Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady; Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald; Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry; Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins; Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce; Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes; Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers; and Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt.
Myles Garrett Setting High Bar for Browns Line
Garrett has some new buddies to work with on the Browns defensive line this season, which should only optimize his production. Cleveland will have Andrew Billings and veteran Malik Jackson clogging up the middle from their defensive tackle spots, while former top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney will suit up opposite of Garrett at the other end spot.
“Man, we got Big Bill, we got Malik, we got Clowney, we got me. I’ve been saying this all the preseason, you can’t double team everybody,” Garrett told Complex earlier in August. “They got to pick their poison and someone’s going to go off. I have confidence in my guys. If we can stay healthy, God willing. It could be very scary. And those guys are going to be pushing the pocket in the middle of the line waiting for quarterback to step up away from us, right into the arms of one of those big guys. So that’s the way it is, to stop the run, we’ll be set.”
Clowney has racked up 32 sacks over seven seasons, also proving to be a valuable run-stopper. He finally feels healthy after some injury-riddled seasons and thinks the sky is the limit for the Browns’ front.
“I still can dominate this league, I know that. But if I ever reach my max potential or get back there like I feel now, they say the sky is the limit, but it is probably higher than that,” Clowney told reporters shortly after signing. “They have footprints on the moon, though. That is where we are trying to reach. I just want to stay healthy. If I play 16 games, I think we will be ready to see. Just let me work on that.”
Malik McDowell Impressing Browns in Camp
The Browns might have a secret weapon at the defensive tackle position in Malik McDowell, a former first-round pick of the Seahawks who never got on the field due to injury and legal problems.
“He has been great,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters on Wednesday. “He has been great in the meeting rooms, around the building and out on the grass. He is in a really good place, works very hard and is very serious about his craft. I see him making strides every day working with Coach Kiff (defensive line coach Chris Kiffin) and working with (assistant defensive line) Coach (Jeremy) Garrett.”
McDowell had three tackles and a sack in two preseason games and PFF has him graded at an elite level of 91.7.