NAME: Rashan Gary
CONFERENCE: Big Ten
POSITION: Edge Defender
JERSEY: No. 3
RECRUITMENT RATING: 5-star
WT: 281 lbs
Competitive Toughness – Would love to see some added consistency in the motor, had peaks and valleys in pursuit and hustle plays. When motor runs hot, is very difficult to negate and can wreck plays when left unblocked off the backside of the play by design.
Two Gap Ability – Successful stacking of blockers at the line of scrimmage. Understands how to leverage and subsequently discard of blockers at the line of scrimmage. On multiple occasions has pulled blockers off of their base and tossed them as ball is pressed into the line of scrimmage in general vicinity.
Gap Penetration Skills – Featured more on the edge in 2018 before shoulder injury, where first step still shined when left uncontested. Contact balance and ability to push through lateral contact is present, allowing him to press through a late down block or challenge in pass protection.
Tackling – Big hitter courtesy of some impressive closing burst in space to generate momentum. Has generated some awesome finishes at the quarterback. That said, can get caught with feet in the sand if ball carriers have the ability to see a hit coming and put on a move.
Flexibility – Struggles with lateral mobility, specifically when trying to turn the corner as a pass rusher. Does not possess the needed tilt to carry speed through corners if contacted and having to play with leverage simultaneously. Plays with low hips and pads in head up stacks of blocks to play with leverage.
Pass Rush Counters – Still needs to work on adding secondary counters for when initial charge and hand strike is countered or negated by opposition. Too often gets derailed by a first punch and abandons pursuit. Rip/dip combination has brought success when paired with a sudden first step.
First Step Quickness – Impressive burst, particularly for a player of this stature. Has great quickness, a trait that would be best highlighted playing on the interior where penetration is directly in the face of passers. Redirection acceleration and ability to get width is much more modest.
Feet/Change Of Direction – COD in a phone booth is effective, showing power to play through contact after redirecting momentum. Labors in space, however, to peel back against initial charge into the LOS and keep the edge against ball carriers when tested.
Versatility – Should be moved around to highlight his strengths. Can stack up well enough on the edge and has needed athleticism to have success there on early downs. Will need to kick inside to maximize pass rush. Can win with quickness in a penetration system or in more of a gap control scheme.
BEST TRAIT – Hand Technique
WORST TRAIT – Feet/COD
BEST FILM – Ohio State (2017)
WORST FILM – Notre Dame (2018)
RED FLAGS – 2018 Shoulder Injury
Rashan Gary is a versatile defender with the needed abilities to be a disruptive force working from 3T. Gary has the ability to set the edge vs. the run and can be worked on the outside sparingly, although his pass rush skills are best utilized in scenarios that allow him to play with linear angles and with his hips aligned behind his pads to optimize his power and quickness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BEST TRAIT – Versatility
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
RED FLAGS – 2018 Shoulder Injury
Rashan Gary offers an intriguing tool box and his ceiling is high should he develop. His power, short area quickness and heavy hands lay a solid foundation to work with. That said, his hand technique, processing skills and inconsistent motor must improve. His lack of flexibility limits his upside as an every down EDGE so moving him up and down the defensive front is wise to maximize his ability to make an impact. By year three, Gary has the upside to be a productive starter in a multi-front defense. His pass rushing upside is considerably high from interior.