Myles Garrett Wins AP Defensive Player of the Year: Browns DE Dominated in 2023

Myles Garrett has earned his long-awaited Defensive Player of the Year Award following five Pro Bowl trips, making history for Cleveland in the process.

The NFL world now knows who was the most dominant defensive player throughout the 2023 season. With five finalists, including one record-breaker, Cleveland Browns EDGE Myles Garrett took home the coveted AP Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Myles Garrett Wins First Career DPOY Award

The long wait is over for Garrett. The Browns star and elite talent at edge rusher can now say he is a Defensive Player player Year winner.

Garrett, who’s earned five Pro Bowl nods and was voted an AP All-Pro three times in his career, finally wins DPOY in his seventh league season.

How did the Browns star get there? He produced his sixth consecutive double-digit sack season by snatching 14 in 2023. He also delivered 17 tackles for a loss, which was one short of his previous best in 2022. Garrett added 33 solo tackles — the third time he’s hit that mark in his career.

Garrett went on a tear toward the end of the regular season to seal his case for the award. He swooped up 7.5 sacks in the final six games for the Browns. And he produced those numbers in Cleveland’s return to the playoffs since the 2020 season.

Cleveland posted a 7-2 overall record this season when Garrett generated at least one sack. Garrett beats out AFC North rival T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders, and Dallas Cowboys teammates Micah Parsons and DaRon Bland — the latter making NFL history for returning the most number of defensive touchdowns — for DPOY.

Previous NFL DPOY Winners

Not only is this Garrett’s first DPOY win, but it makes history for the Browns.

Since the inception of the award in 1971, no Cleveland player has ever won it until now. And that includes the previous Browns franchise before they moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens in 1996.

Meanwhile, Garrett becomes the second straight true defensive end to win the award and the fourth straight natural pass rusher to claim the title of top defender. Here’s a look at the past five winners:

  • 2022: Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers
  • 2021: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 2020: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
  • 2019: Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots
  • 2018: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

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It’s also the second time in the past three seasons that an AFC North defender has claimed the award. In the realignment era that began in 2002, that division has witnessed Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Terrell Suggs, and Watt claim DPOY.

No other division has had that many DPOY winners since the 2002 campaign. Except this time, someone outside of the Steelers and Ravens has won the award.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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