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Media Roundup: Combine Defensive Linemen Discuss Separating from Talented Field

INDIANAPOLIS —Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is a hot name to be the top overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

But with the annual April event still almost two months away, Garrett said his main focus right now is to be the first defensive lineman off the board.

"It's gotta be," Garrett said. "They're going for No. 1 and so am I.

"There's no real animosity between us, but we're vying for a spot," he added. "I got to get it."

Garrett was among the dozens of linemen who spoke Saturday from the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Garrett, who recorded 32.5 sacks in three years with the Aggies, said he has plenty to work on as he transitions to the NFL.

"Skill and consistency," Garrett said. "There were a couple of games where I felt like there were some plays I should have made or things I should have done better. Hindsight is 20/20 but just thinking through some situations differently."

Garrett also noted he has no preference on which team's roster he lands, even if some may not feature the warm climate of his home state of Texas.

"I've played in 20 degrees, 30 degrees," Garrett said. "It doesn't really matter to me."

Here are a few additional statements from some of the top defensive line prospects ranked by NFL Media analysts Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks:

DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock DL1, Brooks DE2

On what he brings to the table: "A winning atmosphere, a winning attitude, a leader who is going to bust his butt every play and a guy who's looking to make an immediate impact in the pass and the run."

DE Malik McDowell, Michigan State

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock DL3, Brooks DT1

On why he's a top-5 pick: "Because I'm a good player."

Could he switch to outside linebacker?: "No outside linebacker, but 4-3 defensive end … but I feel like I could play safety if I wanted to."

DT Caleb Brantley, Florida

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock DL2, Brooks DT3

*On his confidence:* "I still believe I'm the best defensive tackle in the draft. Obviously there's things I can improve on, I feel I'm the best defensive tackle in the nation. That ain't going to change."

On what separates him from the draft class: "Most guys are either fast or strong, and I feel like I have a rare combination of both. I make plays."

DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock Edge4, Brooks DE4

On his strengths as a player: "I can rush anywhere. I can play anywhere. I play every down. I'm great stopping the run. I'm great pass rushing. I'm versatile. Definitely my relentlessness and my toughness. How I get after each lineman. I'm going to try to put the fear of God in them every play. I'm just going to try to get to the quarterback every time and try to be disruptive and try to wreak havoc."

Preference on 4-3 or 3-4 system: "It really doesn't matter. I can play either. I can beef up be that that 3-4 defense end and slide down to a three (technique) if they go to an over front. But I also can be a 4-3 defensive end and still move down to that three tech and also move outside if they need me to. Whatever they need me to because I'll play whatever position I need to because I can play them all."

DT Chris Wormley, Michigan

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock DL5, Brooks DT2

*On his versatility:* "I play a lot of different positions. I like to think of myself as an intelligent guy…being able to learn the playbook and play multiple positions within that playbook benefits myself."

*On his combine experience:* "It's definitely the biggest job interview we've all had so far to this date, all 330 of us that are here. But it's football. It's what we've done for, at least me, since I was in third grade. I love the game of football, I like to talk about it, I understand it. I understand a little bit what it's going to take to be at that next level, so I think it's a little easier than a job interview when it comes to just talking about football and being a part of that."

NT Larry Ogunjobi, UNC-Charlotte

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock DL4

*On his combine experience:* "It's different because when you're at home you see all the people running and you don't see all the behind the scenes stuff. It's been pretty cool."

*On what he's been showing teams:* "I'd say my work ethic. Just my ability to understand the game and outwork everybody that I'm going to be around. I understand it's not what you do, it's where you do it at. And really just focusing on that and playing really well."

*Motivated by small-school status:* "No, it just brings a chip on your shoulder. It means that you want it a little bit more. A lot of people get confused and think you have to go to a really big school and have a really big logo on your back. It's not where you go, it's what you do there. I think that's important."

*How he got involved in football:* "I didn't start playing football until my sophomore year of high school. I was 350 pounds and couldn't get into a football stance. My parents said I was getting too fat, so they took away my game system. I started training. It's a funny story. They got me a coach. I went from 350 that first year and dropped all the way down to 247. I bulked up to 262 for my junior year and 267 for my senior year."

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