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Giants At Browns: Myles Garrett A Good Test For Ereck Flowers

Let’s learn what we can about Monday’s opponent

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants face the young, intriguing Cleveland Browns Monday in their second preseason game. Let’s turn to our standby “five questions” segment to learn what we can about the Browns. Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature answers our questions.

Ed: We are looking forward to seeing much-maligned left tackle Ereck Flowers work against Myles Garrett. What are your thoughts on Garrett thus far?

Chris: Myles Garrett has been way better than I could've ever expected from a first overall pick. Maybe Browns fans are so used to first-round picks being absolute busts in Cleveland, but Garrett has looked every bit the part of an elite prospect and then some in training camp. He's registering several touch sacks per training camp session, blowing by or bull-rushing offensive linemen to the ground. In the first preseason game, he even made several nice plays to stop the run, which is something you really can't gauge during training camp practices due to limited contact. These preseason games will still be good for him to go up against first-string talent, but if you're indicating Flowers has been anything close to shaky, then you will want to be really careful about protecting your quarterbacks on Monday.

Ed: There were so many questions about DeShone Kizer coming out of Notre Dame. What have you see thus far, and are you optimistic he can be a long-term player for the Brown?

Chris: I knew there were a lot of questions about Kizer coming out of Notre Dame, but I tried to give him a clean slate and evaluate him exclusively on what he did during Browns training camp. What I've seen so far is that he has the best combination of arm strength and touch on the roster, to go along with the best mobility. He also showed poise and leadership in the first preseason game, willing the team to a victory despite being in tough down-and-distance situations. He looks like a long-term candidate for the Browns, but the jury is still out on whether he should play on opening day. Much of his progress has come against backup defenses, and while Hue Jackson is trying to test him quickly (now he'll be the second quarterback this week instead of the third), it's hard to say how he'll fare until we see it.

Ed: Are you optimistic that the Browns are finally pointed in the right direction, or pessimistic? Why?

Chris: I'm definitely optimistic. The team had a darn-near historically bad defense last year, but has injected life into it by drafting playmakers like Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has also re-shaped the defense, finally ridding the team of a bland 3-4 defense that just never worked through coordinator after coordinator. The offense still needs some work, but the Browns have invested the most money on the offensive line in the NFL, which gives them a starting point of being a run-heavy team until they can get comfortable with their quarterback and receiver situation down the road.

Ed: If you could take one player off the Giants roster NOT NAMED ODELL BECKHAM JR. and put him in Cleveland's lineup, who would it be? Why?

Chris: It would easily be Landon Collins, and as crazy as this may seem, I might take him over Odell Beckham if given the choice (I think Beckham might still be frustrated with Cleveland's quarterback situation). Although the Browns drafted Jabrill Peppers in the first-round this year, he'll be kind of a hybrid player on defense -- he'll be on the field, but won't have a defined position. That still leaves the Browns with safety being their most inexperienced position by far, and Collins would give the club a Pro Bowl caliber player at every positional grouping on defense.

Ed: Since some Giants fans continue to go on and on about the Giants needing to get him, I have to ask -- is there any circumstance under which the Browns would trade Joe Thomas? If so, what is your guess at the cost?

Chris: Two years ago, there was some doubt about Joe Thomas. With how things have gone in the Hue Jackson era, and the fact that Thomas seems happy and eager to stay and experience a Cleveland playoff run, it has the feeling of a 0% chance that Thomas will be traded. The team just spent big dollars at both guard positions and center, but they are unproven at right tackle. If they get rid of Thomas, now you have big holes at both tackle spots, which is no way to help a quarterback get comfortable.