Bold Predictions: #5

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BIG-E Predicts…

EDGE/DL Rashan Gary from Michigan is going to fall to the bottom of the 1st Round…He is FAKE NEWS as a high pick in this Draft!

So let’s have a short economics lesson shall we? In a market where there are MANY highly regarded products for sale, what happens? Couple things: Prices generally rise (makes sense), the consumer becomes more PICKY when prices rise (logical), the consumer also tends to be very wary of someone trying to sell them a FAKE item because there are so many GREAT ones around you get all worked up and forget to peak under the hood closely enough…all of that emotional intelligence leaves us when we are about to plunk down $300k for a Ferrari, am I right?

And so this leads us to the curious case of Rashan Gary. I’ve been sort of watching his rise and plateau and recent re-hype from a distance. He smelled funny to me right from the start and it happened when I looked at his college stats:

Rashan Gary College Stats

So let’s call this the beginning of the Red Flag After Red Flag After Red Flag narrative that was exploding inside my mind since I first dug into him. What see above are not a lot of total tackles, not a lot of Tackles for Loss, not a lot of Sacks, ZERO Passes Defensed, ZERO Fumble Recoveries and ZERO Interceptions. Wow. For a guy who played 3-Tech, 0-Tech, 1-Tech and 5-Tech regularly, what the fuck was this kid doing all game? That’s what I started thinking immediately. Where is the production?

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To make my case stronger and final I am going to do something I don’t normally like to, which is to post another guy’s evaluation of the player. Below is the eval written by Joe Marino from The Draft Network. He is one of my favorite evaluators and does a really thorough job. Part of why I decided to post his work. My comments are in bold and italics after his…

Run Defense – Natural strength allows him to set a firm edge and squeeze gaps. Doesn’t consistently find the football and shed blocks to regularly finish. Effective slashing through gaps but lacks the lateral mobility to consistently work towards the sideline. Seems to negate his ability to play up and down the line. Can’t shed, seriously? Lacking lateral agility is going to be a recurring theme as you will see…

Pass Rush – Likable quickness off the ball but doesn’t always have a plan when rushing the passer. Does not consistently establish a half man relationship with his blocker and has too many body-to-body rushes. Lacks enough counters to regularly clear his pads. Tight in the lower half and lacks the bend to regularly work around the outside hip of the offensive tackle. Skill set translates best to linear rush angles from the interior. I think NOT having a plan speaks to lack of Football IQ. Lacks bendy traits…that does not sound like a high 1st Round pass rusher to me…

Burst – Quick mover out of his stance but doesn’t always gain the depth needed to beat blockers to their set points. Short area burst is sound but change of direction is elongated. Not a consistent snap anticipator. Odd that he doesn’t anticipate snap counts, right? He has experience at every position from every angle, why would he not have picked up this skill?

Effort – Cranks up the motor in certain situations but the snap-to-snap variance is noticeable. Will occasionally chase down a play and win with hustle and other times pull up. Needs to develop more in the way of hand combating skills to take advantage of his motor when it’s running hot. Why am I worrying about a HIGH 1st ROUND PICK having a lousy motor? Should he not be self-motivated to win every snap???

Hand Technique – Hands are heavy and violent but more development in terms of timing and placement is needed to more consistently disengage and clear his pads. Needs to be able to grease rush angles with his hands and it often doesn’t happen. Another skill that as a 3 Year starter at a huge FBS football powerhouse with some of the best coaching would seem to have developed by now…

Flexibility – Tightness in the lower half is evident when attempting to corner the outside edge track and he is guilty of working too far up the field. Tightness is also exposed when redirecting and working laterally. Offers too much surface area to blockers. Not bendy, not agile…

Processing – Does not consistently read his blockers set and he ends up in too many face up situations when rushing the passer. Will run himself out of run fits/rush angles. Can be late and slow to find the football. Football IQ…seems to suck.

Play Strength – Good power in the lower half to anchor against the run, set the edge and squeeze gaps. Finishing power is outstanding. Will get in trouble on account of his pad level increasing which robs him of power when bull rushing and working through contact. Finally something that I am not going destroy him for…he is pretty strong and seems to use that effectively.

Versatility – Capable of making an impact against the run and pass but alignment matters. Can he hold up against the run on the interior? Does he have enough technique and flexibility to win as an outside pass rusher? Needs to be moved around and used to his strengths. I’m sorry, can someone remind me again what his strengths actually are? What scheme seems to fit a guy that lacks effort in so many facets of the game? He loses focus during plays, does not have a high standard of Excellence for himself, shows poor technique, did not get better over time and has a lack of lateral agility to do his job? Too harsh? I think not given the lofty position he finds himself in.

I believe that Joe Marino is exactly right, Rashan Gary is a 2nd Round talent. And this will be one situation where the brains and power in the NFL Draft rooms will vote properly and cause him to free fall into the lower half of the round. Certainly presents certain teams with an opportunity doesn’t it?

For me, he is a hard pass. Even if we were sitting at spot #32 I could find other players that won’t make me wonder every night what this dude is up to. Cause football does not seem to be his passion!