Jaguars' path to the draft | The case for Rashan Gary

Michigan defensive lineman could bolster Jags' line

By Cole Pepper - Sports anchor/reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If the Jaguars opt to select a player on defense in the first round, it is almost certain that player will be a defensive lineman. Tom Coughlin loves to draft big men and he loves to draft players who can sack the quarterback.

With the departure of Malik Jackson in free agency and the trade of Dante Fowler late last season, the Jaguars can use another pass rusher and Gary is both a big man (6 feet, 4 inches, 277 pounds) who also has shown flashes of getting after the quarterback. 

Gary was the No. 1 high school player in the country when he was recruited to Michigan. As a Wolverine, Gary played 13 games, including a bowl game as a true freshman. As a sophomore, he set a career high with 5.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss while playing multiple positions on the defensive line.

While his numbers as a junior were not as impressive--3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss--Gary was named to the All-Big Ten team for the second straight year. He skipped Michigan's bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. 

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Gary to Ezekiel Ansah, the Lions defensive lineman who has recorded 48 career sacks in six seasons, but said that Gary's "production as rusher failed to match traits and talent."

You can check out some of Gary's highlights here:

Gary is a freakish athlete. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds at 277 pounds at the combine, while also putting up 26 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and posted a 38-inch vertical jump. Those are the kind of numbers you rarely see from one player. He figures to play the same type of position and style as Calais Campbell--a big end who has the speed to rush the passer. He will need more work on his pass rush skills to be as productive as the Jaguars, or any NFL team, will expect out of a top-10 pick. 

 

 

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