Green Bay Packers Select Rashan Gary Twelfth Overall

Green Bay Packers Select Rashan Gary Twelfth Overall
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The Green Bay Packers loaded up over the offseason with a vast array of defensive talents that included Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith, yet they still felt the need to stoke further flames to the fire by adding a dominant pass rusher in Rashan Gary out of the University of Michigan with their twelfth overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. This pick, for me, was a no-brainer. It significantly improved the Packers’ defence which sucked last season. But what exactly will Gary’s impact be? 

The Fit 

After concluding a phenomenal high school footballing career, Gary was noted as the #1 recruit in the forthcoming 2016 collegiate football class. In the ensuing three years, he came close to living up to those heights. Firstly, by capturing the Richard Katcher Award in 2017, which is awarded to the best OLB/DE. In addition to those feats, he earned two All-Big Ten nominations in 2017 and 2018. 

Looking beyond his honours, Gary produced three seasons of constant progression in his performances. Furthermore, he showed an ability to get in behind the line with a total of 23 career TFL and 9.5 sacks. Moreover, he consistently found himself amongst the tackle sheet, with 119 produced through 21 starts. 

Whilst some argue that his statistical production does not warrant that of a first round selection, Gary’s upside is clear for all to see. He’s got an explosive skill-set, which is coupled with power and impulsive reactions at the line. Aside from that, he boasts an arsenal of hand techniques and can disrupt plays in a heartbeat. It’s for these reasons that I truly believe, with the right coaching of course, that Gary could become a perennial Pro Bowler and a dominant force on the Packers’ new and improved defence. 

I will add however, that Gary has question marks surrounding his natural position. At 6-5, 283 lbs some may argue he is too large to play defensive end. On the other hand, that weight falls far short of a defensive tackle. Therefore, this will make for an interesting story in the offseason, but one I’m looking forward to knowing the answer of come the regular season. 

The Reaction 

Rashan Gary’s own reaction was arguably the best, as he cried tears of joy after hearing his name. 

Another lovely reaction came via Michigan coach Chris Partridge. The ST’s and Safeties coach compiled the following statement about Gary: 

“Rah Gary has never had under a 3.0 GPA in his life, he overcame dyslexia to not only attend MICHIGAN but also become an Academic All Big Ten selection 2 yrs in a row! Plus the kid started his own sports agency (which was a dream of his). He also came back and played with a shoulder (injury) for his team when he could have sat the season.” Adding, “He never rested for one second, nobody that ever saw him practice will ever question his work ethic.” 

Image Credits: The wonderful Alex Chinery (@iamalexchinery on Twitter).

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