Position: Edge defender
Weight: 270 pounds
School: Texas A&M Aggies
Myles Garrett 2017 NFL Draft Profile
When the terms “elite pass rusher” and “2017 NFL Draft” come up in the same sentence, it’s likely the first prospect who comes to mind is Myles Garrett. That’s not much of a surprise. Garrett is expected to be among the first players taken, if not the number one overall selection. His NFL caliber build, dynamic skill set and collegiate accomplishments have him firmly on the radar of many a team looking to bolster their defensive front.
Garrett delivered the goods during his three years in an Aggie uniform. He came to College Station as the crown jewel of Kevin Sumlin‘s impressive 2014 recruiting haul. Rated as the top weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com, expectations were high for the Arlington, TX native. His numbers while at Texas A&M paint a pretty convincing picture that they were met with flying colors.
Right out of the gate, Garrett made an immediate impact. As a true freshman, he averaged 0.96 sacks per game which was topped by only four players in the entire country. He replicated those same numbers a year later while also managing 19.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles, both of which led the SEC. He won the Bill Willis Award, given to the top defensive lineman, for his efforts. Though Garrett missed three games due to injury in 2016, he still earned unanimous All-American honors.
Since 2005, only Tennesee’s Derek Barnett managed more career sacks among SEC defensive players than Garrett’s 31. And his 47 tackles for loss is tied for fourth in the conference in that time with Jadeveon Clowney. Garrett’s knack for being a nuisance in opposing backfields makes him among the most highly coveted draft prospects of 2017.
- freakish frame and overall build that’s tailor made for an NFL level edge defender.
- elite explosiveness off the snap.
- long arms that enable him to establish leverage at the point of attack.
- versatile player who can line up as a “hand in the ground” 4-3 end or upright 3-4 outside linebacker.
- active hands and good lateral shiftiness.
- regularly exposed to physical play up front in the SEC.
- coaches praise work ethic in practice.
- no off-the-field red flags.
- might need to develop more play strength.
- can get overpowered by lengthy, athletic tackles.
- ability to achieve separation on running plays has to improve.
- will need to expand repertoire of pass rushing moves.
- could use more lower body in bull-rush moves on blockers.
- questions over ability to maintain intensity over the entirety of a game.
- susceptible to frustration personal fouls.
- tended to struggle in big games.
NFL Comparison: Ezekiel Ansah
Teams With Need at Position: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Washington Redskins
Projection: Potential first overall pick
The importance of having an elite perimeter pass rush cannot be underestimated in today’s NFL. The teams that contend in this league regularly dominate the edges in both pass and run defense. Players who excel in this capacity are household names, including one who shares Garrett’s alma mater.
Six years ago, Von Miller was drafted second overall by the Denver Broncos out of Texas A&M. It didn’t take him long to establish himself as one of the best edge defenders in the league. And last year, he came to play when it mattered, totaling five sacks and two forced fumbles in the playoffs while winning Super Bowl 50 MVP honors.
Garrett resembles more of a defensive end than a run of the mill Sam linebacker. And it remains to be seen if he can replicate the success Miller’s had at the highest level of the game. But his potential upside is through the roof and his skill set is in sky high demand. For that reason, expect his name to be among the first called on day one of the draft.