Rashan Gary appears to be a consensus among the top 10 among NFL project analysts, but with a caveat.
The 6-foot-5, 283-pound defensive lineman played only nine times in Michigan's 2018 season, which hampered most of the time due to an injury to the AC joint, right shoulder.
Between the injury and statistics that have been described as disappointing for an attacker (24 tackles for defeat, 10 1/2 sacks in 35 career games), some NFL general managers could stop with Gary.
But his potential remains high, and this is one of the reasons why ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., has passed Gary from No. 9 to No. 4 in his second draft model, released Monday.
"I think the key is just to succeed," Kiper told a conference call organized by ESPN with reporters. "Obviously, the scheme allows him to play well and continue after the quarterback. He was the No. 1 player out of high school. "
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Kiper has described Gary's 9 1/2 bags as "problem" in 22 games, but said his athleticism and athleticism make him an attractive player.
Gary did not compete in the Michigan Peach Bowl game against Florida and was not eligible to play in the Senior Bowl, which made the upcoming NFL National Scout Championship, scheduled for February 26 to March 4 at Indianapolis, even more important.
"You would like to see more domination games," said Kiper. "But I think when you look at physical and athletic abilities, he has to do tests like the monster we know we can do. Figures that do not appear in the charts to maintain this position. What I think he's going to do. "
In November, Kiper ranked Gary No. 8 on his top 25 chart, just behind Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, Jr. April 25-27 in Nashville.
At this point, a solid combination would only help his case.
"It's one of those guys that you expect to be much more productive from the perspective of bags in the NFL than it was in Michigan," Kiper said. "It's something you do not always want to say – you already want to have this production from the bag perspective.
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"But once he's in the NFL – because he's doing very good testing – any defensive line coach will say," Hey, give me this guy. I can make him a guy who will have big bag numbers. "
BUSH, OTHERS: There was no significant discussion of Bush, the American linebacker of the consensus who fell 30th in the latest Kiper project.
"The most interesting guy because he fits the NFL today," Kiper said. "He's flying football. End of the first round – and it is not out of the question that he can go in the middle of the first round. "
Kiper believes that Winovich, who serves as a second defensive or linebacker, will be a second or third round choice. "I would say no more second round for him."
Offensive halfback Karan Higdon, who along with Gary and Bush chose to sit at the Michigan baseball game, is currently playing the day 3 pick. "Fifth-sixth round," said Kiper. "Probably a chance."