Editor's note: NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein will "dare to compare" prospects to NFL players throughout the college football season. This week, he provides a scouting report and comp for Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett, who will have scouts' attention in Week 8's most highly anticipated game when the Aggies visit Alabama.
Myles Garrett put the SEC and college football world on notice as a true freshman when he recorded 11 sacks and created havoc for every left tackle he faced.
Fast forward to 2016, and Garrett is a bigger, stronger edge player than the 2014 version. Garrett's size, explosiveness, production and ability to alter a game from a highly prioritized position make him one of the top prospects in college football. Let's take a look at what makes him special, what he has to work on and the best NFL comparison for him.
It's one thing to look the part and have teams project an increase in production as a player gets more experience and coaching. It is quite another to produce at an elite level on a consistent basis, and that is what Garrett (26.5 career sacks) is able to do. Garrett has the length and thickness of frame to project to a natural defensive end spot. He possesses a shredded physique and is much stronger in his lower body than when he arrived at Texas A&M.
Garrett's burst off the snap sets up his entire portfolio as a pass rusher. Tackles that are slow out of their stance have no chance against Garrett's twitchy upfield charge and corner-turning ability. When tackles overset and try to rush to the edge, Garrett has a devastating spin move that tackles have little-to-no chance of recovering from. Garrett has enough power to fight through redirect blocks and corner the edge at sharp angles. His inside charge is lightning fast and can be extremely disruptive against rushing attacks. Garrett looks to maintain run fits rather than playing "hero ball".
With any great athlete, sometimes the player can be too reliant upon natural athletic ability and explosion. Garrett has all the tools but needs to get better at stringing moves together and working with a pass-rush plan. Although he hasn't had to rely heavily on his hands as part of his pass-rush attack, he will find that skilled hands will be a necessity at the next level. He stays engaged with blockers longer than you want and can improve the consistency of his reaction time off the snap.
NFL comp: Jevon Kearse
One of the easiest comparisons to make for Garrett is former Texas A&M defensive end Von Miller. Not only do they come from the same college team, but they have similar athletic attributes. Their explosion off the snap and around the edge is what makes them special and so difficult to block. The problem with this comparison is that Garrett (6-foot-5, 270 pounds, per school measurements) is bigger and stronger than Miller (6-3, 250). One friend suggested Garrett would be the result if you put Von Miller and Jadeveon Clowney together.
However, for my comp, I'm going with a blast from the past. Garrett has freaky athleticism, explosiveness and footwork. The guy is a freak, which leads us to a comparable NFL talent in Jevon "The Freak" Kearse. Kearse measured in at the NFL Scouting Combine at 6-4, 262, which happens to be very close to the listed measurements for Garrett. Garrett's strength, initial explosion up the field lateral agility is very similar to Kearse's. Kearse had longer arms and Garrett appears to be a more skilled pass rusher than Kearse was at this same juncture of their college careers, but their playing style and high-end ability make this my preferred comp.
Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.