It’s hard enough to get drafted when you play at the highest level of college football. When you play in the FCS, Division II, or Division III, you have to be truly dominant even to get the slightest consideration. Thankfully for Concordia-St. Paul edge rusher Chris Garrett, he heads to the 2021 NFL Draft following a record-breaking career for the Golden Bears.
Chris Garrett NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Edge
- School: Concordia St. Paul
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’2 1/2″
- Weight: 230 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Chris Garrett Scouting Report
Positives: Explosive small school pass rusher who projects to outside linebacker in the NFL. Plays with excellent pad level, gets leverage on opponents, and fires off the snap. Uses his hands well and displays a variety of moves. Immediately alters his angle of attack and redirects to the action.
Bends off the edge, gets up the field quickly, and has a burst of closing speed bearing down on the play. Agile, plays with balance as well as body control, and consistently exploits lesser offensive tackles. Smart, tough, and relentless. Goes after opponents and attacks quarterbacks. Plays to his 40 time.
Negatives: Takes the majority of his snaps out of a three-point stance. Used almost solely up the field. Must get bigger and stronger. Will struggle against the run at the next level.
Analysis: Garrett was a terrific pass rusher at the small-school level, and he’s a relentless defender who consistently plays all-out. He’s built more like a weakside linebacker than a pass rusher for the NFL, and he must complete his game and learn to make plays in reverse.
Chris Garrett Player Profile
Despite a difficult upbringing, Garrett overcame early adversity to find success on the football field. As a sophomore at Wisconsin Lutheran High School, the Milwaukee native was part of a team that went 15-0 and won a Wisconsin State Championship. He played three seasons for the Vikings, rising to prominence as a team captain during his senior season in 2016.
He earned first-team All-Little Ten Conference honors following a season where he racked up 100 tackles and 9 sacks. Despite the production, Garrett was unranked by the major recruiting sites. With no Division I offers and Division III programs not offering scholarships, he forged the five-hour journey to the Concordia-St Division II program.
Garrett’s college football career at Concordia
The athletic edge rusher made an immediate impact for the Golden Bears. He earned five starts amongst seven-game appearances, showcasing incredible pass-rush ability for a freshman. During his first year, he racked up 44 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks, more than some pass-rush prospects have in their senior season. Garrett had a standout game against Augustana, where he earned NSIC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
His freshman season provided just a small glimpse into his potential. Garrett lit up the Division II world as a sophomore, earning first-team All-American honors from the AFCA. He led Division II football with 1.65 sacks per game. That led to a school record of 16.5 sacks in 2018. Additionally, he secured 19 tackles for loss, while reaching 8 forced fumbles through his first two seasons. His performances led to a litany of awards, including Concordia Bear of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and the Team Leader Award.
In what would ultimately be his final season for Concordia, he continued to be head and shoulders above the competition. He led the nation in forced fumbles, extending his career total to a new Division II record 15 forced fumbles. Garrett finished the season with 20.5 tackles for loss and set a single-game record for the season with 5 sacks against MSU Moorhead. He earned first-team All-American honors for the second time in his career and was named the NSIC Defensive Player of the Year.
With the cancellation of the 2020 Division II season, Garrett declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He finished his Concordia career with a program-record 36.5 sacks, the second most in NSIC history.
Chris Garrett’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Garrett’s ridiculous college production should ensure that he at least gets some attention as an undrafted free agent. How does he fit in the NFL? He projects to be exclusively a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment. At 230 pounds, he is undersized to play strongly against the run and will need to add bulk — if possible in his 6’2″ frame — if he is to be able to make an impact against NFL offensive tackles.
Some team fits for the Concordia edge rusher in the 2021 NFL Draft include the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.