Browns choose Garrett first in NFL entry draft

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Texas A&M University star defensive end Myles Garrett was the first player chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft as Cleveland bet on him quickly becoming an impact player

The Cleveland Browns made Myles Garrett the first player chosen in the NFL draft on Thursday, the annual selection of college athletes that helps teams in the most popular US sport top up their talent pools.

The Texas A&M University star defensive end is the first defender to go No. 1 overall since Jadeveon Clowney in 2014.

"I want to be the best," Garrett said. "The only thing holding me back is me."

Once the first pick was decided quarterbacks grabbed the limelight as the wheeling and dealing started.

Garrett was quickly followed in the draft by the Chicago Bears trading up to choose quarterback Mitchell Trubisky as the number two pick.

With the Bears moving up, the San Francisco 49ers dropped back to third and picked defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

Running back Leonard Fournette went fourth to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans rounded out the top five by taking receiver Corey Davis. The New York Jets chose safety Jamal Adams sixth.

Gareon Conley, who was accused of rape earlier this week, was chosen at number 24 overall by the Oakland Raiders. The former Ohio State cornerback was expected to go higher in the draft.

Garrett had been expected to be the top pick and the Browns are hoping it won't take him long to become an impact defensive player.

At 1.95 meters (six-foot-four), 123 kilograms (272 pounds), Garrett had a 4.64 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical jump.

Garrett has some physical similarities to Clowney, the South Carolina all star who has been dogged by injuries with the Houston Texans.

- 'Go against the best' -

"It was really just a weight off of my shoulders to finally just get the announcement that what I have been working for is finally came to fruition and I can actually know where I am going, know who I am going up against and know the schedule," Garrett said.

"Now, it's time to put in that work so I can be prepared to go against the best."

Cleveland dealt their number 12 overall pick to the Houston Texas, who used the spot to take Clemson University quarterback Deshaun Watson. With the No. 25 pick, the team added safety Jabrill Peppers.

Garrett chose not to attend the draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art but rather spend the time watching it on television with family and friends in Dallas, Texas. It is the first time the draft has been held in Philadelphia since 1961.

Cleveland parted ways with quarterbacks Robert Griffin and Josh McCown in the offseason.

Some thought the Browns might address their quarterback problems with the first pick, but the argument for a game-changing defensive end won over.

The Browns registered just 26 sacks last season and were also next-to-last in total defense.

An ankle injury slowed Garrett down in 2016, but he finished his three-year career with 32.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 36 games.