Browns do Myles Garrett a big favor in way-too-early 2025 NFL mock draft that makes sense

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) smiles before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Though the 2024 NFL season is not even here yet, some draft sickos are already thinking about the 2025 NFL Draft cycle.

For Cleveland, it will be their first time having a first-round pick of their own in three seasons. Cleveland sent three first-round selections to the Houston Texans for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

So, ever since the 2024 NFL Draft ended the thoughts immorally turned to the fact that the Browns are set to have a first-round selection again finally. ESPN has a pretty good idea for the Browns with their first selection and it comes at No. 16 overall.

ESPN has the Cleveland Browns selecting Abdul Carter, EDGE, Penn State

“Cleveland has the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year in pass-rusher Myles Garrett, but there’s room to add more to the defensive line if a player like Carter is on the board. He’d slide in opposite Garrett — where veteran Za’Darius Smith is now — and boost an already elite unit.

Carter has played off-ball linebacker in previous seasons, but he is moving into a full-time pass-rusher role in 2024 and has the juice to become a game-changing performer in that role. He has 11 sacks over two seasons.“ – Matt Miller, ESPN

First, it must be pointed out that the Browns picking at No. 16 in the draft would be a disappointing season. We will go with ESPN and their draft order and imagine that the Browns will be in this position.

If Cleveland made this selection, they would have a succession plan for Za’Darius Smith and youth opposite of Myles Garrett to develop.

Carter had 11 sacks through his first two seasons without being in a major role. This season, I would not be surprised to see Carter end up with double-digit sacks.

While Carter does have some off-the-field concerns, the talent there on the field is evident. If the Browns check off on him, he could end up being a terrific addition.

If Carter hits his ceiling of how good he could be this year, he may be a top 10 selection in the draft and none of this will matter.

Cleveland has Smith on the rosters for the next two seasons, but Carter could compete for starter snaps next year and be the full-time rush specialist with Garrett by 2026.

With how the Watson trade has gone to this point, it feels like a massive loss for the Browns.

There is still time for Watson to improve his play and steer that ship right. Cleveland hitting on selections like Martin Emerson Jr. and Greg Newsome II helped ease the pain.

Mike Hall Jr. from the recent draft has a chance to fall into that category as well.

Let’s get through the actual season first, but the thought of the first round mattering again for the Browns is a good one.

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