The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Michigan’s Rashan Gary helped to lead Michigan to three good seasons and is now a possible early pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Position: Defensive end//Defensive tackle
2018 stats: 38 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks
Size: 6-foot-4, 277 pounds
Gary is one of the many talented defensive linemen in the 2019 NFL Draft class and will be expecting to be drafted early. He wasn’t always asked to put up the biggest numbers, but did a good job occupying blockers so that other players could make plays.
He had 119 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and one forced fumble in his career as a Wolverine. Gary has experience playing the defensive end spot in both three-man and four-man fronts. He also has the ability and size to play defensive tackle at the next level in a 4-3 scheme. While his production wasn’t great at Michigan, he has shown that he has good athleticism, which NFL scouts will covet. He didn’t reach his full potential while at Michigan, but because he has a good combination of size, speed and power, he could be much more productive as a pro.
It’s not often that a player that has this level of production is picked early in the NFL Draft, but Gary will be selected in the first half of the first round. It isn’t likely that he will be the first defensive lineman picked, though he shouldn’t have to wait very long after the draft starts.
Gary shows good burst at the snap of the ball, which helps him generate his outstanding power. He uses his power to push lineman backward. On pass plays he bull rushes and uses his hands well, while on run plays he is able to be disruptive because of his power and strength. He also has good short-area quickness and athleticism, which helps him win at the point of attack.
Stopping the run is something he is very good at. He maintains good gap integrity and can even shoot gaps to get to the ball carrier faster. Gary uses his strength to shed blocks and make the play. He can set the edge against the run, which vastly improves any defense he is on.
His versatility makes him a unique prospect, as he can play in different schemes and at different positions within those schemes. Gary saw time at both defensive tackle and defensive end and held his own at both positions. His ability to generate good push could allow him to stay on the field as a defensive tackle in pass rushing situations. Gary’s versatility extends to being at least decent in both pass rushing and run defense.
Even though Gary has a lot of desirable traits, he wasn’t as productive of a pass rusher as NFL scouts like to see. With only 9.5 sacks in his three seasons at Michigan, Gary wasn’t showing up on the stat sheet on a consistent basis. He’ll have to answer for why he wasn’t getting to the quarterback more often, but that could have been due to what Michigan was asking of him.
Gary does not have the speed to win off of the edge. Offensive tackles can keep him in front of them, which takes more time for Gary to get to the quarterback. He doesn’t have the greatest bend as well. For both rushing on the inside and outside, Gary doesn’t have the quickest change of direction, which limits what he can do once an offensive lineman gets his hands on him.
He’ll need to add more pass rushing counter moves to his game, as usually if his first pass-rush plan doesn’t work out, he doesn’t make the play. With that, he’ll need more pass rushing moves in his arsenal, which is something that can be taught by NFL coaches.
Projected Draft Range: Top 20 pick