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NFL executive: Texas A&M's Justin Evans will be top-20 pick

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Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett gets most of the scouting attention where the Aggies defense is concerned, and rightfully so, but Garrett isn't the only Aggies defender generating buzz in NFL personnel circles.

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An executive told NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah that TAMU safety Justin Evans is headed for top-20 status in the 2017 NFL Draft.

"This kid jumps off the tape. He's a better player than (2016 first-round pick) Karl Joseph. He's a ferocious hitter and he can cover a lot of ground. He will be a top-20 pick this spring," the executive told Jeremiah.

Joseph, who also carried a reputation as a fierce hitter, was selected out of West Virginia with the No. 14 overall pick this year by the Oakland Raiders, despite a knee injury that prevented him from working out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Evans certainly did his part to turns scouts' heads on Saturday. In a season-opening win over UCLA, he made eight tackles, two interceptions, and broke up another pass in overtime to seal the Aggies' 31-24 victory. One of his interceptions was a leaping theft in the final minute of regulation that essentially forced the overtime period. Jeremiah spoke with several NFL executives over the weekend who are intrigued with the senior, and Jeremiah was impressed with his play in reviewing film of the UCLA game.

Evans (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) had only one interception and three pass breakups all of last season. But his performance against Bruins star quarterback Josh Rosen signals a much more productive season is ahead of him when it comes to making plays on the ball.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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