NFL Analyst: Gary ‘Top 3’ Defensive Talent in College Football

NFL Analyst: Gary ‘Top 3’ Defensive Talent in College Football

Football

NFL Analyst: Gary ‘Top 3’ Defensive Talent in College Football


Michigan third-year SDE Rashan Gary gets a scouting breakdown from Ann NFL college football analyst.


NFL Analyst: Gary ‘Top 3’ Defensive Talent in College Football

Rashan Gary is good at football.

And writers for NFL.com agree.

Last week, it was Chase Goodbread who deemed Gary as the nation’s second-most freakish athlete. On Monday, Daniel Jeremiah joined the chorus.

Jeremiah is doing his own preview of the best players in college football, and after watching Michigan’s last two games in 2017, he sees Gary as one of the three best defensive players in the country this next year.

What I liked: Gary has a unique blend of size, speed and strength. He’s built like a defensive tackle and runs like a linebacker. As a pass rusher, he explodes out of a four-point stance and can easily convert speed to power off the edge. He uses his length to lock out offensive tackles with his inside arm before crossing their faces and winning inside. He also has flashed the ability to bend and wrap the edge, which is very unsusual for a 280-plus pound defensive end.

Against the run, he is at his best in chase mode. He made several tackles on the perimeter in the games I studied. He eats up ground in a hurry and his motor is outstanding. He has plenty of strength and power to stack single blocks and set the edge. His versatility is a huge asset. He can line up at any position on the defensive line and, believe it or not, he’s athletic enough to stand up on the edge if needed.

Where he needs to improve: As a pass rusher, he needs to develop a deeper repertoire. He has a lot of success with that long arm move, but I’d like to see him add some hand moves to his arsenal. He can also improve as a finisher. He had several close encounters that should’ve resulted in sacks, but he couldn’t quite seal the deal.

As a run defender, he needs to improve his block awareness. He was pinned inside too often by edge blockers because he’s late to read/react. He also gets caught too far upfield on occasion. He had excellent production last season, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. That is scary for opposing offenses.

Biggest takeaway: Gary is a special player and he’s not remotely close to tapping into his full potential. He fits in every defensive system and has the tools to dominate on all three downs. I love his effort and believe he could emerge as a top-three defensive player in the country. His presence will create plenty of one-on-one opportunities for the rest of the Michigan defensive line. With a cornerstone like Gary, this could end up being the No. 1 defense in college football this fall.

Jeremiah goes on to compare Gary to New Orleans Saints Pro Bowler Cam Jordan.

Along with Ohio State DE Joey Bosa, Houston DT Ed Oliver and Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence, he expects Gary to have a big enough season in 2018 to warrant eyes from scouts at the next level. (Bosa, of course, won’t be eligible.)

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