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A three-year starter at Texas A&M, Garrett lined up primarily as the right defensive end in the Aggies' four-man front and finishes his career ranked seventh all-time in the SEC in sacks (Derek Barnett is ranked sixth and Reggie White is eighth). He arrived in College Station as a five-star recruit and earned Freshman All-American honors in his first season with the Aggies, posting 53 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss and a SEC freshman record 11.5 sacks. Garrett had his most productive season as a sophomore in 2015 (13 starts) with a SEC-best 19.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and five forced fumbles to take home First Team All-American and All-SEC honors. He battled injuries as a junior, but still managed 15.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks over nine starts and became the ninth unanimous All-American in school history, also earning All-SEC honors for the third straight season.
The Arlington native has the impressive ability to beat blockers with his athletic gifts while also tracking the football with backfield vision (student of the game and his favorite athlete is Pro Football Hall of Famer Deacon Jones).
Garrett has proved his athleticism off the field in the pre-draft process, and his measurements -- including 82-inch wingspan, 272-pound frame -- invite lofty projections for the purported No. 1 overall pick.
Although he has room to improve the efficiency of his rush attack, Garrett keeps his hips and feet in sync and screams off the edge with the diverse skillset to win in different ways. His production is questioned, but the stat sheet is deceiving. Offenses often game-planned for him, attacking with double and triple teams, and health was an issue over the second half of 2016.
Overall, Garrett is the No. 1 prospect in the 2017 class with his special ability to get upfield quicker than most due to his combination of explosive athleticism, length and football intuition -- easy favorite to be drafted first overall and should make an immediate NFL impact rushing the passer.
STRENGTHS: Freakish athleticism and body control for his size. Sudden first step, but the quickness of his second and third steps are just as effective, using long, strong strides. Loose-hipped with the elastic flexibility to bend, spin and get underneath blockers. Fluid movements to drop and handle space. Converts speed to power and uses natural momentum to barrel through bodies. Understands leverage to put blockers on skates or set the edge as a run defender. Long arms and has worked hard to fill out his frame, appearing noticeably stronger at the point of attack on 2016 tape - uses his length to knock down the football (five passes defended and three blocked kicks in his career). Violent hands to maintain separation between him and blockers. Diverse set of hand tactics to attack in different ways. Upper body strength to be a reliable finisher on tackle attempts. Twitchy reflexes to read, react to movement and attack screens and misdirection plays. High pain threshold to play through injuries - played the second half of the 2016 season while nursing a lower left leg injury. Defensive captain as a junior in 2016. Consistent production with 48.5 tackles for loss in 30 career starts, leaving Texas A&M sixth in school history with 32.5 sacks, half sack behind Von Miller (33).
WEAKNESSES: Various moves in his pass rush arsenal, but his move-to-move transition requires polish to better counter. Overaggressive and needs to maintain proper position vs. the run to contain the edge and keep the ballcarrier inside. Ability to win at the point of attack is based more on timing and explosiveness rather than core power and can be shielded from run lanes - can get tied up on inside rushes. Logs a lot of snaps, leading to him taking some plays off. Injured his lower left leg on a cut block vs. Arkansas (Sept. 2016) and missed two games and didn't play at full health most of the second half of the season.
NFL COMPARISON: DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos: Garrett is longer with more growth potential, but he and Ware are both outstanding athletes off the edge who have the savvy and natural gifts to be remembered as NFL greats.
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