There's nothing like the NFL offseason.
It's a time filled with rumors and speculation, especially ahead of the upcoming NFL Draft that will kick off on Thursday. Over the last few college football seasons, there was very little negative publicity when it came to the Texas A&M monster known as Myles Garrett — who is widely considered the top prospect in this year's class.
Like we often see, the weeks and months leading up to the NFL Draft often spring narratives about players that don't always make sense. The latest instance comes from a well-known Hall of Fame defensive player who clearly wanted to make headlines to bash Garrett.
On Sunday, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter published a story where former Bucs/Raiders defensive linemen Warren Sapp says Garrett isn't close to worthy of the No. 1 overall selection. The comments are bold and over the top — not surprising coming from Sapp.
"I don't see it from this kid," Sapp told Schefter. "I see the splash plays, everybody gets those. Where's the game he took over? Where? Any defensive linemen who's the No. 1 pick, you turn up and you say, 'There it is!.' This kid, no, I don't. I'm a pretty plain and frank guy, and I watch the tape and he disappears. I watch the tape, and he absolutely disappears."
Sapp is referring to a guy who had 11 sacks in 2014, 11 sacks in 2015 and 8.5 sacks last season (when everyone and their mother was game planning for him as he battled through a nagging ankle injury). How can those stats ever be perceived as a player who "disappears?"
At the end of the piece, Sapp takes it to the next level.
"I see a lazy kid that makes four plays a game," Sapp told Schefter. "This is the No. 1 guy? No, no no. This ain't even close."
I'm far from a master at breaking down film but I spend a good amount of time most weeks combing through potential prospects and college players. I fully understand the stuff I find online is mostly a player's best showing, but Garrett's dominance is on display in almost any video out there.
Here's a nice little breakdown I found. This looks like shear dominance to me, a far cry from the allegations Sapp made.
There's no doubt there are times where Garrett is double-teamed and he can't make the play. There are other examples where he he struggles to beat the offensive linemen, or gets blocked out of the play. The reality is these kinds of things happen to the NFL's greatest players on a regular basis and the greatness easily outweighs any instance where Garrett gets held up.
Sure, there has been a little banter about Garrett's quirky personality but most NFL experts have glowing praise for the likely No. 1 overall selection.
"He's exactly what you want if you're Cleveland in a division that's got to get after Roethlisberger, Dalton and Flacco," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper told CBS after the combine. "They're going to have offers. They'll get an opportunity to trade out of that pick because people will want Myles Garrett, but they want him for a reason. He's a tremendously valuable entity, Cleveland needs that… he's special."
I don't want to delve into the numerous character flaws that have been associated with Sapp over the years, but it's hard for me to take this dude seriously. This feels like the classic case of a former player wanting to get a little publicity.