With the No. 12 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Packers selected Rashan Gary, defensive lineman out of Michigan. Quick first step for a big man. Insane athlete who played out of position at Michigan. Best suited as a defensive end in the NFL where his rip move can be hard to counter for offensive tackles.
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Pete Prisco: He's very athletic. He's a specimen, but it doesn't translate on the field. Where's the production? He could end up being a great pick or could be a bust. There's no in-between. He's either feast or famine. There is a shoulder concern. He might have to have shoulder surgery.
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Dave Richard: The Packers' pick of Rashan Gary doesn't make for much excitement. He looks the part of a defensive terror but didn't have the production to match (10.5 sacks in 35 games at Michigan). He missed time with a shoulder injury that could limit him in 2019. And the Packers plan on using him as a linebacker? That's what position he was announced at by Roger Goodell, and the team already had three good defensive linemen going into the draft. I wouldn't be excited about his Fantasy prospects, and I'm not convinced he makes the Packers DST any better.
NFL comparison: Robert Nkemdiche
Chris Trapasso: Hear me out on this one. Nkemdiche is a defensive tackle. Gary's an edge rusher. But the two couldn't be more similar in regards to basically everything else. Both were the top recruits in the country, had relatively disappointing collegiate careers, and crushed their combine workouts. Like Nkemdiche at Ole Miss, Gary leans heavily on his dynamic linear athleticism to win around the corner and simply doesn't feel comfortable using his hands. He will come out on top in some battles because he's a super-freak of an athlete, but until he gets better beating blocks, it'll be challenging for Gary to meet high expectations.
Ryan Wilson: Gary was the nation's best player coming out of high school. He played in 12 games as a freshman in 2016, logging a half-sack and five tackles for loss. He improved to 5.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore but played in just nine games last season because of an injury and finished with 3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.
Among all FBS defensive linemen, Gary ranked sixth in Pro Football Focus' run stop percentage but was 33rd in pass-rush productivity.
Ryan Wilson: Gary has an explosive first step for a big man and he's an insane athlete who played out of position at Michigan. He's best suited as a defensive end in the NFL where his rip move can be hard to counter for offensive tackles. But he also has the strength to overpower offensive linemen on his way to the quarterback:
I bet the QB remembered this hit from Rashan Gary pic.twitter.com/pt1c6u48R7— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) February 3, 2019
Ryan Wilson: Gary played out of position at MIchigan and his stats don't support his physical skills. He also needs to expand his pass-rush moves though that could be a function of his usage.