The NFL scouting combine can change the narrative around a prospect's draft stock.
But for Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the combine only confirmed what many in the NFL world already believed, that he is the top player in the draft.
On Sunday, Garrett, already thought to be a top pick, blew away spectators with freakish numbers in several tests.
He ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash, quite quick for a player who weighed in at 272 pounds. As Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith noted, Garrett's 1.63-second time in the first 10 yards may be even more impressive, since explosion matters more for defensive ends than straightaway speed.
Garrett also benched 225 pounds 33 times, the second most of any defensive lineman. He also measured in with a 41-inch vertical jump, the best of any defensive lineman, and his 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump was the second best of any defensive lineman.
Garrett's explosion is unreal:
He measures up well with other defensive linemen who have been taken first in the draft, via MMQB's Albert Breer:
Garrett is also one of the fastest linemen to weigh over 270 pounds.
Our consensus mock draft already had Garrett going No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns. After his combine performance, he may have made any other decision even more difficult for Cleveland.
Breer wrote: "Like everyone else, Jackson was impressed with what he saw from Garrett on Sunday. And though neither he nor anyone else in Cleveland came out and said it, it sure looks like it's Garrett vs. the quarterbacks for the first overall pick."
ESPN's Pat McManamon said of Garrett's combine: "Myles Garrett did his part. Now it's up to the Cleveland Browns. Garrett's NFL combine experience validated all the pre-combine analysis that he deserves to be the draft's first pick."
As SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber noted, the NFL world had compared Garrett to several successful pass-rushers, including Jadeveon Clowney, Mario Williams, Khalil Mack, and Vic Beasley. According to McManamon, Garrett did say at the combine that he was not quite at the level of Von Miller, to whom he also earned comparisons. But if Garrett becomes any of the above players, he'll have a good, long career.
Teams tend to become enthralled with quarterbacks in the draft, but Garrett seems to have made his case as the best player.
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