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Potential top pick Myles Garrett says he’d never sit out to protect draft stock

Western Carolina v Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 14: Myles Garrett #15 of the Texas A&M Aggies celebrates his tackle of Detrez Newsome #21 of the Western Carolina Catamounts in the first quarter of a NCAA football game at Kyle Field on November 14, 2015 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images)

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Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is a potential first overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, and as a result some have suggested that he should sit out his junior season this year and keep himself healthy to protect his draft stock. Garrett says he’d never do that.

I’ve heard it but I’m against it,” Garrett told NFL Media. “I want to be one of the best that’s ever come through A&M, and that would just be betraying the people I’ve played with and the people who have come before me, who have worked their butt off.”

Another player with first overall pick talent, Jaylon Smith, blew out his knee in Notre Dame’s bowl game this year and fell to the second round of the draft, where the Cowboys picked him. Garrett acknowledged that it’s possible that some day a player will see injuries like Smith’s and decide to sit out a season to avoid injury, but Garrett hopes that doesn’t happen.

“It could get to that point, but I hope it doesn’t. It’s hurting the game,” Garrett said. “You don’t disgrace the game like that and say ‘It’s not worth my time and I’ll be a first-round pick anyway.’ You play because you love it, not because you can make money from it.”

That’s an attitude that Garrett’s A&M coaches and teammates will like, and it’s an attitude that NFL teams will like as well. But it does carry risks. If Garrett gets hurt this year, some 2018 draft prospect may see that and decide that he’s better off sitting out.