In the recently completed 2019 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers used the number 12 pick on Michigan Edge Rusher Rashan Gary. Many pundits have the opinion that Gary was a reach the Packers didn’t need to make. They have said Gary would’ve been available later in the draft. His shoulder issues have also become an issue for his detractors. There has in fact been objective medical reports supporting Gary, saying his shoulder will not hinder his performance this season. Yet the list goes on for those who didn’t approve of this pick.
Of course the only opinion that matters is that of the Green Bay Packer’s GM Brian Gutekunst. He trusted his college scout Joe Hueber who had given Gutekunst very high grades on Gary. Gutekunst used the term “Locked in,” when describing their first pick. Gary was not a conciliatory pick, he was rated very high on their board. The Packers felt lucky when Gary was available at number 12. When the opportunity presented itself, Gutekunst got his man. Gutekunst claimed the Packers had been focused on Gary since February.
While at Michigan, Rashan Gary faced multiple double teams, and combination blocks from opposing offenses. When those teams devoted excessive attention to Gary, it allowed his teammates to pursue the ball and compile impressive defensive stats. With Gary’s speed, 4.6 second 40, and his size 6’4″, 275 lbs, you can believe Mike Pettine will utilize him all over the defensive front seven. Just imagine a front line of Gary, along with FA signees Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. Combine them with current starters Daniels, Clark, Fackrell and Martinez, and Pettine will have a formidable defensive front.
The Packers certainly believe Rashon Gary landed exactly where he should have. Mike Pettine has a penchant for extremely athletic and versatile players that can present match-up problems for the opposing offense. If Pettine places Gary on the inside of the front line, there are very few NFL guards who would be able handle his speed and power. Pettine will want to utilize Gary’s disruptive ability much like Michigan did.
I’m hoping the Packer fans and most importantly the media give Gary and Gutekunst the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see how he is allowed to use his skills to make the Packers defense consistently a force to be reckoned with in the NFL in 2019.
As Always, Go Pack Go
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter