UCLA coach Jim Mora believes his team is preparing for more than just a star defensive end in Texas A&M's Myles Garrett. The Bruins coach thinks the Aggies junior could be biggest star of them all where the NFL draft is concerned.
"This guy's special. He's potentially the No. 1 pick in the draft," Mora said, per Robert Judin of Campus Insiders, during Tuesday's Pac-12 media teleconference. Mora is a former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach.
Garrett, for one, would like nothing more than to make it happen. The junior will decide after the season whether to apply for early eligibility into the 2017 NFL Draft. But even with just two years of college experience to his credit, Garrett is already drawing rave reviews as a prospect. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah was highly impressed with the 6-foot-5, 262-pound pass rusher in reviewing three of his game tapes from last season, and spoke to an NFL personnel executive who compared him to Julius Peppers.
One thing in Garrett's favor is that pass rushers are regarded at a premium by NFL clubs in the draft. Those that are dominant are difficult to find, and can make a major impact. Garrett has amassed 24 sacks over two years at TAMU.
UCLA plays at Texas A&M on Saturday, and one of the most intriguing individual matchups of the game will be Garrett's performance against UCLA's All-Pac-12 senior offensive tackle, Conor McDermott.
It will be a strong test to open Garrett's junior campaign.