The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 9 BY ANDREW HUSSEY T wo junior defenders — defensive end Rashan Gary and linebacker Devin Bush Jr. — both left Michigan with one year of eligibility left, but are projected to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. No other Wolverines are in the first round of NFL mock drafts. Of the two, Gary seems most likely to be picked within the top 10 selections. ESPN's Todd McShay has Gary going with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft to the San Francisco 49ers. "The Niners are seeking an edge rusher — among other things — and Gary provides explosive closing burst and elite athleticism," McShay noted in his first mock, released Dec. 12. "He's a nightmare to block and would provide a jolt to San Francisco's defensive line." McShay has Bush being selected with the 21st pick in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens. "Rather than reach for a wide receiver for Lamar Jackson, let's snag this underrated three-down linebacker to slide in if the Ravens decide not to pay up for pending free agent C.J. Mosley (although Bush also could play the weak side, too)," McShay wrote. "Bush's athleticism and instincts would jibe nicely with this superb Baltimore defense." ESPN counterpart Mel Kiper Jr. tabbed Gary to the Buffalo Bills at No. 9 and Bush came off the board at No. 20 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in his Jan. 17 mock. "At his peak, the 6-foot-6, 283-pound Gary is a menace who makes offensive linemen look foolish, but you'd like to see him do it with more regularity," Kiper wrote, while noting that Bush "is perfect for today's NFL … a three- down linebacker who never has to leave the field." Sports Illustrated had Gary going to the New York Jets with the third pick in the draft in its Dec. 19 projection. "Gary has as much raw talent as any player in this draft and the ability to play the edge or inside, which has pushed him into the top three of our mock," Kalyn Kahler noted. "His combination of size and athleticism makes him a difficult matchup because he can win with strength or he can win with his athleticism." Bush was mocked to the Oakland Raiders with the 22nd pick in the draft by the outlet. "The Raiders need to rebuild the defense at every level, and the instinctive Bush would be an immediate leader for the new-look defense," Kahler wrote. "Bush's performance, motor, leadership, athleticism … none of that is questioned. "If he was bigger, we might be putting him in the same category as Devin White, as a three-down linebacker. As it is, he's listed at 5-11 and 230 pounds (and there's suspicion among evaluators that he's smaller than that)." CBS Sports currently has two mock drafts posted, and Chris Trapasso had no Wolverines in his first round, updated Jan. 18, while Ryan Wilson had both Gary and Bush among the top 32 picks in his Jan. 21 update. He projected Gary to the Detroit Lions at No. 8 and Bush — "one of the most dynamic players in the draft" — to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 22. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller updated his mock Jan. 15 and has Gary going with the No. 5 pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Bush came off the board to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 30. "Many wonder what Michigan's Rashan Gary will be in the NFL," Miller wrote. "The answer is much more Inside Michigan ATHLETICS Rashan Gary And Devin Bush Jr. Projected As First-Round Picks ESPN's Todd McShay projects Gary to be selected No. 2 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2019 NFL Draft. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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