2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Rashan Gary

  • Rashan Gary, 6-4/277

  • Defensive End

  • Michigan

  • Rashan Gary Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Freak athlete
  • Fast edge rusher
  • Ideal size
  • Excellent combination of height, weight, length, speed and athleticism
  • Fast off the edge
  • Very good in pursuit
  • Speed to power rusher
  • Pursuit run defense
  • Good play recognition
  • Ability to redirect
  • Closing speed
  • Burst to get upfield
  • Has strength
  • Strong to get off blocks
  • Active hands
  • Uses hands and feet at the same time
  • Versatile to play a variety of techniques
  • Fits a 3-4 or 4-3 defense
  • Huge upside; best football is ahead of him

  • Weaknesses:
  • Lack of production in college
  • Can be more disruptive than productive
  • Shoulder injury from junior year
  • Was streaky at times
  • Could use more pass-rushing moves for the NFL

  • Summary: Coming out of high school in New Jersey, Gary was one of the top recruits in the nation and some recruiting outlets had him as the No. 1 player in the country. He was a huge signing for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. While Michigan had some good talent returning on its defensive line, the true freshman Gary was able to earn some playing time and chipped in 27 tackles with one sack. As a sophomore, Gary broke into the starting lineup and had a quality debut in his first year of extended playing time. As the season progressed, Gary showed improvement and ended the season with an impressive performance against rival Ohio State. He totaled 56 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2017.

    In 2018, Gary totaled 43 tackles with 7.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He missed three games with an AC shoulder joint sprain and sat out Michigan’s bowl game. At the combine, Gary had a fabulous workout, showing off his freakish combination of size and speed. A 6-foot-4, 277-pound defensive lineman running a 4.58-second 40-yard dash is incredible, and that time was faster than a lot of the top running back prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft. Along with running fast, Gary showed his quickness and athleticism in the field work.

    Gary has the potential to be a dangerous edge rusher against the pass. He is surprisingly fast for a big defensive end and is able to bend and dip underneath blockers, with rare speed to close on the quarterback. Sometimes, Gary has a delayed reaction in getting started, but he has tremendous speed to dart by tackles and achieve penetration. He has a serious burst to get upfield and can eat up space in a hurry. Along with his speed, Gary has quality size to him with the strength to get off blocks. Gary has active hands and is able to use them at the same time as his feet. He does well using his speed to get upfield, chops the tackles’ hands off of him, and then bolts around the corner to pressure the quarterback. Gary needs to develop more pass-rushing moves for the NFL. It would be good to see him add more rip, club and swim moves.

    As a run defender, Gary is at his best when he uses his speed to get upfield and cause disruption, but he has a strong base to hold up at the point of attack. Gary is a very good pursuit defender, doing a nice job of flowing to the ball. He uses his speed to close with agility and strength to peel off blocks. With some development, Gary could become a well-balanced defender who is effective in both phases.

    Gary is a great fit for a 4-3 defense due to his a superb combination of size, speed and athleticism to be a base end. His freaky skill set would make him a larger right end to go against left tackles, and a very unique end to fill that role. Also in a 4-3, Gary could also move inside to rush as a three-technique in the sub package. In a 3-4 defense, Gary could play five-technique defensive end, yet also is athletic and fast enough to stand up some and play outside linebacker. Moving around like that would be similar to how Houston defensive coordinator Romeo Crennell has used Jadeveon Clowney.

    In speaking with team sources, they believe that Gary will probably go as a top-10 pick and should not slip past the midway point of the first round. Gary has a ton of upside and his best football ahead of him.

    Player Comparison: Jadeveon Clowney. There are a lot of similarities with Gary and Jadeveon Clowney. Both of them are freak athletes with insane skill sets of size, speed and upside. Both can be more disruptive than productive at times with some streakiness to their play. Gary is more agile and not as stiff as Clowney, but Clowney produced a lot more in his college career. In the NFL, I could see Gary being an excellent defender similar to Clowney.

    NFL Matches: San Francisco, New York Jets, Oakland, New York Giants, Detroit, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Miami, Washington, Carolina

    The 49ers need more pass rush because Solomon Thomas is trending toward bust status as a pass-rusher. They traded for Dee Ford, but could use an edge rusher across from him. Gary could give them a dangerous edge rusher to go next to DeForest Buckner and would help improve their linebacker corps.

    The Jets need an edge rusher, and Gary might be a fit for them. Gang Green does not figure to have a receiver or offensive tackle who is as good prospect as Gary, so he could make sense the Jets. They might target Gary in a trade down as well.

    Oakland would be a good fit for Gary as a pass-rusher and across from Arden Key. The Raiders could miss out on Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams, so Gary could be the best defensive line prospect available at pick No. 4.

    The Giants also need an edge rusher for their defense. If they do not take a quarterback with the sixth-overall pick, Gary would make a lot of sense.

    Even though they signed Trey Flowers, the Lions need more edge-rushing talent as well. They like players with versatility, and Gary can play a variety of techniques up front. He would be a nice scheme fit for the Lions.

    Green Bay could use more edge-rush talent. In the Packers’ 3-4, Gary could play some five-technique end and stand up to be an outside linebacker.

    Miami has moved on from Robert Quinn and Gary could be a replacement. Atlanta could use another edge rusher across from Takk McKinley as Vic Beasley is in the last year of his contract and has disappointed the past two seasons. Washington could consider Gary as a replacement for Preston Smith. Carolina could use another edge rusher as Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin are free agents next offseason.


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