The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 9 BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan junior defensive end Rashan Gary has been banged up this year, but it apparently hasn't hurt his draft stock. Several publi- cations and websites believe he'll leave after this season, and that he'll be a high first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. has Gary go- ing No. 13 overall to the Detroit Li- ons. "The defense was expected to be atrocious, and that has certainly been the case," they wrote of the Lions Oct. 11. "Help is needed at every level, and I have to imagine that Detroit will be eager to pick up one of the stud defensive tackles in this class to finally replace Ndamu- kong Suh. "Rashan Gary is an athletic freak. He wasn't extremely productive as a freshman, but he recorded five sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2017. His teammates believe he'll be a top-10 pick." CBS Sports (updated Oct. 11) also sees Gary going to the Lions, but they have Detroit picking higher, at No. 10. "Another defensive lineman comes off the board," they wrote after projecting Gary to be the sixth defensive front man drafted. "… Gary can play anywhere along the de- fensive line and would be a much-welcome addition to a unit that ranked 27th going into Week 5, according to Football Outsiders."'s Mel Kiper Jr. has him listed as the No. 9 overall draft prospect on his big board (updated Oct. 11), though he'd like to see Gary play with a higher motor. "Gary dominates when he's at his best; just manhandles offensive linemen. The problem? Consistency," he wrote. "A defender this big and this talented should have more than 17 tackles for loss in two seasons. The former No. 1 overall recruit disappears too often for my liking. He has 4.5 tackles for loss this season and is dealing with a shoul- der injury that kept him out in the win over Maryland." It also kept Gary out of a 38-13 win over Wisconsin. Another ESPN analyst, Todd McShay, ranked Gary the No. 3 overall prospect on his Oct. 16 listing. "Two years after he arrived in Ann Arbor as the most celebrated recruit in the country, Gary has somehow matched the hype," he wrote. "A powerful run defender and edge setter, he has an outstanding com- bination of size and athleticism and will fit any scheme: explosive, sud- den and a nightmare to block." On the other end, fifth-year senior Chase Winovich has started to ap- pear in the first round on some draft boards. has him going No. 29 overall to the Packers in its way-too-early mock draft. "The Packers should look into adding a young edge rusher, as the frustrated Clay Matthews will turn 33 a couple of weeks following the 2019 NFL Draft," they wrote. "Chase Winovich has incredible speed off the edge. He dominated Notre Dame in the 2018 opener." Added Kiper, after listing Winovich No. 24 on his big board: "I highlighted Winovich recently as a potential riser, when he had three tackles for loss against North- western. He is great at using his hands as a pass-rusher and run defender, and he is always near the action. … Winovich can play on his feet or with his hand in the dirt, and that versatility makes him valuable at the next level. I also noted that with the blond hair flowing out of his helmet, he reminds me of Clay Matthews hitting quarter- backs off the edge." Finally, there's no guarantee junior linebacker and cap- tain Devin Bush Jr. announces for the draft, but if he does, believes he's a third-round pick, projecting him to come off the board at No. 70 to Philadel- phia. McShay, however, is much higher on Bush, listing him at No. 32 on his big board. "Bush has good instincts as a pass-rusher, displaying good patience and good closing speed when he gets a line to the quarterback" McShay wrote. "He shows good range and quickness, as well as decent tackling ability. … He has the potential to be a three-down starter in the NFL." ❏ Inside Michigan ATHLETICS Rashan Gary Viewed By Most As A 2019 First-Round Pick Gary notched 22 total stops, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in the first five games of the season, but then missed the next two contests with injury. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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