Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, one of college football elite pass rushers, will apply for early eligibility to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Garrett released a statement Saturday confirming his decision, per The Houston Chronicle.
Garrett (6-foot-5, 270 pounds), a junior, has been the Aggies' top pass rusher since his freshman season in 2014, recording 32.5 sacks over three years. Earlier this year, an NFL executive predicted an All-Pro NFL career for Garrett, noting that he has strong character to go with his talent for the game. He has been compared to former Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans pass rusher Jevon Kearse, but Garrett himself looks to San Diego Chargers rookie Joey Bosa as the model for what he wants to accomplish.
The Browns, who hold a one-game lead for the No. 1 overall pick heading into Week 17, reportedly have an "astronomical grade" on Garrett, who said earlier this week that he'd prefer not to play in a cold-weather city in the NFL.
College underclassmen face a Jan. 16 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility.
Garrett's length, quickness off the line of scrimmage, and variety of pass rush moves have made him one of the most feared defensive players in college football. He's also improved significantly as a run defender. His junior year was a frustrating one, however, as he missed two games and parts of others while dealing with an ankle injury suffered against Arkansas. His 8.5 sacks this year was the lowest total of his career.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.