The Green Bay Packers made a big move on Thursday by drafting the somewhat polarizing Rashan Gary No. 12 overall. But even though he was a stud defensive end in college, the Packers may have different plans for him.
In an interview with reporters after the draft via the Detroit Free Press, Packers scout Joe Hueber stated that Gary is going to start his NFL career learning with the outside linebackers. Hueber explained that while Gary has pass rushing down pat, he needs to learn to drop back into coverage.
“He’ll start in the outside linebacker room. He’s a guy because of his size and speed and versatility, you’d hope you can move him around the front… He’s done some standup stuff already. He’s had to play multiple positions and move around. Probably needs to learn some of the (coverage) drop stuff.
“But as far as rushing the passer goes, he’ll be ready.”
Hueber went on to compliment Gary’s incredible athletic abilities that go along with a 6-foot-4, 277-pound frame.
“He’s got rare gifts,” Hueber added. “A guy that size who can move like that with that speed, he can really bend (that’s rare)…”
Gary is one of only five players in history to receive a perfect grade from 247Sports. However, his dominance in high school did not show itself on the stat sheet in college.
In three seasons at Michigan, Gary totaled 9.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. For comparison, Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat, who went 26th overall, had nearly identical pass rushing stats in his senior year alone.
But it was at the NFL Scouting Combine where Gary reminded everyone why he was so highly recruited.
He blazed through most of the drills, with a 4.58 40-time, 26 bench reps, a 38-inch vertical, and a 120-inch broad jump.
Perhaps Gary will be able to put it all together and become a true defensive force in a different position. The Packers certainly appear to believe he can.