Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Giants have a litte more than a week until their No. 6 and No. 17 overall picks are to be spent at the 2019 NFL Draft. There's been much speculation about what GM Dave Gettleman will do with these selections, and though a quarterback is definitely among the conversation, an edge rusher is also at the top of the team's needs.
Luckily, this draft is stacked with edge rushers with Pro Bowl potential, and the Giants will have prime position to grab one when their name is called.
Michigan's Rashan Gary is one of those prospects at the top of the heap, and the New Jersey product could see some home cooking to kick off his NFL career. Let's take a look at Gary, and break down whether or not he is worthy of a Giants first-rounder...
Projected Pick: Top-15
Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 277 pounds
College (career): 119 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, one forced fumble, 24 games
Combine: 4.58 40-yard dash, 26 bench reps, 38 vertical jump, 120 broad jump, 7.26 3-cone drill
Gary lit up the NFL Combine, and had scouts drooling over his potential after seeing the numbers. A man Gary's size shouldn't be running that fast or jumping that high, but Gary is the rarity. His size also allows teams the choice of playing him as a defensive lineman and edge rusher. In the Giants' 3-4 scheme, defensive coordinator James Bettcher could deploy Gary in any way he sees fit.
An explosive player off the snap, Gary's potential is through the roof. He is still raw when it comes to pass rushing techinque, but his natural strength and motor make him a hard player to block on any snap. Gary never seems to give up on a play either, as he has been seen tracking down opponents in downfield.
Gary has the NFL size, and would provide the Giants will the pass rusher they could use on any down.
A five-star recruit coming out of Paramus Catholic High School, Gary was the No. 1-ranked prospect in his class when he entered Michigan. However, he leaves the Wolverines program with underwhelming stats considering his caliber.
Gary only produced a half sack in his freshman season, and improved to 5.5 sacks in 2017. Last season, Gary was moved to the interior in Michigan's 4-3 scheme, and he totaled 3.5 sacks and 38 tackles. That is not what anyone expected to see from Gary in his college career.
That performance, though, is mostly due to Gary's ineffective technique that we mentioned before. He seemed to always use his size and length to bullrush his blockers instead of switching up his approach on each snap. Gary's hands can certainly get better at the point of attack and work in his favor, but that skill wasn't developed fully at Michigan.
Gary is certainly going to need some good coaching from the Giants to unlock his true potential, as compared to other edge rushers in the draft that appear more established in their skill set. The bullrush technique won't work everytime against established tackles off the edge. Mixing and matching different moves to get into the backfield is required to be an effective rusher.
That being said, there's no denying the physical attributes that Gary possesses. And when those attributes are fully tapped into with the right technique, he could be extremely dangerous off the edge. Gary's speed makes it hard for running backs and receivers let alone quarterbacks to avoid him, and that raw power is perfect to disrupt any line and burst into the backfield. The sky is truly the limit for Gary, who the Giants could believe, like many others, has the highest upside of all the edge rusher prospects.
Gary should be there at No. 6 for the Giants, but No. 17 would be pushing it. If they're sold at 6, it would be a nice homecoming for him when he hears his name called.