*Our DL grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.


NFL Draft 2019 Scouting Report: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan

*Our DL grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.


First, I’m going to praise Rashan Gary’s talents. Then, I’m going to warn NFL teams about the possible perils of drafting him (and now you’re probably thinking it’s trouble with his production numbers compared to other top DE prospects – but that’s not it).

Upon reading this, you’ll easily buy into the praise and you’ll be instantly suspicious of my warning. I get it. However, it’s my job to find the potential problems on the prospects EVERYONE agrees on…and I think we have something to discuss here.

On the positive side…

Rashan Gary is a very talented athlete. No one weighing 276 pounds should move so well. He was a universal top high school prospect (not like ‘one of the best’…like everyone’s #1 overall regardless of position). He was solid at Michigan for three years, with some flashes of brilliance. He tested very well at the NFL Combine.  

When I watched/studied him on tape, I was expecting to be let down because he didn’t really have great/juicy tackle-sack-TFL numbers to get excited about. However, you can see how good-great Gary can be within moments of watching him in-game. I think his production numbers were weaker, compared to the top DE prospects, because Gary played too much in a 3-4 scheme…and that tends to depress the numbers for the defensive end, typically.

I can say this -- when Michigan would switch to a 4-3 scheme Gary looked like an animal…a definite top 10 overall prospect for this draft. The case for Gary as a top 10, top 5 even – envisioning him as a pure 4-3 DE…and maybe one who drops 10 pounds (from his current 276), adds even more muscle, and runs in the 4.5s (perhaps sneaking into the 4.4s?).

What’s the downside, then? You can choose whether or not to go with me on this, but if you’re serious about Gary…I’d propose you consider the following and look for yourself.

Part of the reason Gary was ‘underwhelming’ in statistical production in college was him working a bunch as a 3-4 defensive end, as I mentioned. I’d also propose another reason to go with it – Gary is a lazy football player. I watch a lot of EDGE rusher work for my studies, and it jumps right out with Gary – gives a nice effort off the snap to try to get after the backfield, but the moment he has ‘failed’ or the play goes the other way or just not at him – more often than not he shuts down his motor and just turns and looks or just stands there watching. Typically, you see top DE prospects going after everything they can and trailing plays if they can. Gary shuts off the engine quickly, too quickly.

The reason I bring that up, besides the obvious, is a larger premise – I don’t think Rashan Gary is that into football. Obviously, I don’t know this…no one really does. But when I listen to Gary speak and observe his off-field activity…I get a bad feeling about him.

 -- Listening to him talk…he’s sleepy/cocky. He’s a guy that tells you, in a monotoned, uninterested in a two-way conversation with anyone tone, that he’s the best player in the draft, even if you don’t ask. Some people see that as just great confidence. With Gary, I think he’s trying to convince/con himself and others into it…like he knows he should say it to help his brand.

 -- He studied sales and marketing in college, and I think he fancies himself as smarter than everyone and a future business mogul, but he hasn’t impressed me with anything he’s said in interviews – and I was in corporate America for 20 years and did a ton of interviewing and finding talent and listening to them/observing them to find hidden talents – Gary strikes me as B.S. almost instantly from the first words I hear him speak.

 -- Gary opened his own sports agency to represent himself – and that’s smart. You’d think it shows he has this savvy – I think he’s more interested in being an agent, strike that, in being a ‘mogul’ for the sake of wanting to be a mogul. If that makes any sense…like he thinks he’s some genius business person already because he graduated from sales and marketing at Michigan and is a beloved football star.

Ask Gary about football, and you get monotoned guy rambling. Listen to him talk about his business ideas/this agency (he has signed two other no name players) and you get a blip of excitement from his demeanor and tone. You also get long winded ‘football isn’t forever, and business is where it’s at for the future’ vibes/words…and not in a good way, more so that football is a stepping stone to what he REALLY wants to do (and that’s to not have to play football). NFL coaches are not going to like his lack of ‘all in’ or not buying into ‘team’/’family’ concepts – he’s not that guy. I know, because I’m not that guy. I’m the first guy a coach would cut at the pro level because I’d be laughing at all their nonsense and/or questioning what they just said and why they called that play, etc. I can sense from his tone and body language, which will tick coaches off, he’s not that into all this football stuff (but he thinks he is) – my opinion.

 -- His social media accounts are filled with all his autograph appearances. Like, I think he declared to go pro and then went to an autograph session at the local mall two minutes later. I don’t begrudge him capitalism at all. I just get the feeling everything football is a nuisance in the way of him being ‘paid’ like a ‘mogul’. I don’t get a ‘love of the game’ from him at all...not in person, and not on the field always. That could become a big problem after millions of dollars are shoved at him very soon.

Rashan Gary, Through the Lens of Our DE Scouting Algorithm:

This blue-chip prospect has played 34 college games and has registered 0-2 solo tackles in a game 27 times.He’s not ‘making plays’ as often as you’d assume a future star might.

All of 0.5 sacks as a freshman, in 12 games…how is that possible from a player with this much natural talent rushing off the edge? In his first 17 college games he totaled 1.0 sacks (two games with 0.5 sacks).

His better statistical tallies do tend to come in bigger games – like a career high 10 total tackles, career high 5 assisted tackles, career high 3.0 TFLs, and career high 2.0 sacks in a game versus Ohio State in 2017. I detected Gary pushing it a little more against the marquee matchups/TV games – another sign that he’s not ‘giving it his all’ all the time.

In most games I watched, in general, he was pretty well contained except for a pop a play or two. A game that stands out to me from 2018 -- his Notre Dame season opener 2018 was pretty weak, the blockers got to him more than he ‘won’ (1 solo tackle, 0.5 TFL).

2019 NFL Combine Measurables…

6’4.7”/276, 9.6” hands, 34.1” arms

4.58 40-time, 2.67 20-time, 1.61 10-yard time

4.29 shuttle, 7.26 three-cone

26 bench press, 38” vertical, 10’0” broad jump

The Historical DE Prospects to Whom Rashan Gary Most Compares Within Our System:

Gary comps with more gifted athletes with lower production in college, and then in the pros. Ezekiel Ansah gave you a couple good seasons and then some heartache – I could see Gary going that route after he gets ‘the big’ contract. 

DE Score








Tackle, Strngth Metric

Speed, Agility Metric

Pass Rush Metric

Tackle Metric









































































*A score of 8.00+ is where we see a stronger correlation of DEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL DE.

All of the DE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Power-Strength Metrics = A combination of several measurements. An attempt to classify the DE prospect as more of a battle-in-the-trenches type of DE, a 'bull-rusher', and/or a DE prospect who has some DT capabilities.

Speed-Agility Metrics = A combination of several speed, agility, size measurements. A unique measuring system to look for DEs who profile more as speed-rush, stand-up DEs, and/or possible OLBs.

Pass-Rusher Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify whether a particular DE is likely to achieve high sack totals in the NFL. We know the 'system'/scheme the DE goes on to play in has a part in future success...but so do the player's skills and performance history. "You can't keep a good man/DE down," we'd like to think.

Tackling Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify the DE as one more likely to be involved in a heavy amount of tackles, tackles for a loss, and forced fumbles. Lower-scoring DEs in this subcategory tend to be more pure pass-rushers/specialists. This is also our attempt to quantify, if it's possible, the 'toughness' of a player.

2019 NFL Draft Outlook:

I see some variability in Gary’s pre-draft rankings. Some have him top 10, others later 1st-round…I think some are sensing the issues with Gary, in general. Some NFL team will think they can fix him, and maybe they will. Cincy at #11 would make this mistake. The Ravens at #22 if he fell because ‘Michigan’ is always possible with a Harbaugh brother.

If I were an NFL GM, I’d pass. Too many red flags here for the price tag. I think more than a few GMs are going to feel this way…but it only takes one not to…

NFL Outlook:   

Might get out to a fast start in the NFL…as he seems to have a switch he can flip. Eventually, he becomes overrated/overpaid and goes from his original team, who lets him walk, to a new team that overpays him in free agency (after he has a sudden great season his contract year), and then the regret really sets in.