Myles Garrett
AP Photo : Kirk Irwin

Can Myles Garrett Win Defensive Player Of The Year in 2021?

Since Myles Garrett entered the NFL in 2017, he has been a dominant force for the Cleveland Browns. The Texas A&M product has racked up 42.5 sacks and 152 combined tackles in four seasons. I don’t think there is a better word to describe Garrett than calling him a freak. Garrett is 6 foot 4, 275 pounds, and runs 4.6 40-yard dash. Garrett looked like a frontrunner for the award in 2020 before he got COVID-19 and had to miss two weeks. When Garrett came back, he did not look the same as he recorded only 3.5 sacks in the final seven games of the season. As Garrett enters his fifth season on an upgraded Browns team, he should be poised to take home the award in 2021.

The Browns had their best season in twenty years in 2020 and won their first playoff game since 1994. Although this team went 11-5 on their way to a playoff win, their secondary was suspect at best and may have been their downfall. GM Andrew Berry seems to know what he is doing and loaded up in the secondary and vastly improved their defense in the offseason. The Browns signed guys like John Johnson III, Troy Hill and drafted Greg Newsome II. With an upgraded secondary, opposing quarterbacks will take a longer time to get the ball out. The longer the quarterback stands in the pocket, the more opportunities Garrett has to cause havoc in the backfield.

Another player that Myles Garrett will benefit from is Jadeveon Clowney. The Browns signed Clowney in the offseason, and the thought of Garrett alongside Clowney is a scary thought for offensive lines. Although Clowney is not as productive as Garrett is, you must account for Clowney. With another set of eyes on him, Garrett may find himself in more one-on-one situations. Garrett and Clowney were both top five in double-team rate in 2020, so pick your poison.

Another factor working in Garrett’s favor is that this Cleveland offense is going to put up points. They ranked 13th in 2020 by scoring 26.3 points a game, and in the second year of Kevin Stefanski’s tenure, the Browns should only be more comfortable with the play calling. They will get Odell Beckham Jr. back from injury, which should only help towards scoring touchdowns. How does this help Garrett? If teams are trailing against the Browns, they are going to have to pass the ball if they want to get back in the game. With an upgraded secondary and the addition of Clowney, paired with a team trying to throw their way back into the game, Garrett will get more opportunities to get to the quarterback. If Garrett has 14 sacks, a couple of forced fumbles, and 40 plus tackles while the Browns make it back to the playoffs, how could he not win the award?

According to DraftKings, Myles Garrett has the second-best odds to win the award at +600 only behind Aaron Donald.

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