College Confidential

Texas A&M’s Garrett tops ESPN initial list of top 2017 NFL Draft prospects

Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett (15) makes a sack in last year’s game against Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett (15) makes a sack in last year’s game against Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Star-Telegram

If ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. is correct with his projection, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett will make history in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Garrett, an Arlington Martin graduate, topped Kiper’s list of draft-eligible candidates on his Too Early 2017 Big Board that was released Wednesday. Garrett, who will be a junior next season, has collected 24 sacks during his first two college seasons and will be draft-eligible in April if he opts for early entry in the 2017 draft. Garrett earned All-America honors last season and was a finalist for the 2015 Lombardi Award.

Texas A&M never has had a player selected with the top overall pick of the NFL Draft. Nor has a player from a Tarrant County high school been taken with the top overall pick. The closest call on both fronts came in 2013, when A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, an Arlington High School graduate, went to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the second overall pick.

Denver Broncos’ linebacker Von Miller, last year’s Super Bowl MVP and a former A&M player, was taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft.

Garrett was one of four players from schools in the SEC West division ranked among the top-5 prospects in the 2017 draft. The others were LSU running back Leonard Fournette (3), Alabama linebacker Tim Williams (2) and LSU safety Jamal Adams (5). Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson, last year’s Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award winner, held down the No. 4 spot on Kiper’s list.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch

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