College Sports

Michigan’s Rashan Gary: I’m the best player in this year’s NFL Draft class

Michigan DT Rashan Gary: ‘I feel like I’m the best player in the draft’

Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Rashan Gary believes he's the top player in this year's NFL Draft class. He's training for the NFL Combine at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas.
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Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Rashan Gary believes he's the top player in this year's NFL Draft class. He's training for the NFL Combine at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas.

Rashan Gary didn’t want to talk about starting his own sports agency, Rashan Gary Sports, on Wednesday. Instead, the former Michigan standout is solely focused on preparing to put together the best possible NFL Combine performance later this month and show why he believes he’s the top talent in this year’s NFL Draft class.

“I feel like I’m the best player in the draft, defensively and offensively,” said Gary, who is training at Michael Johnson Performance. “I’m the best player in the draft.

“The team [that drafts me] is going to get Rashan Gary. I’m a blue collar worker. Every day, head down, learn the ways of the team, be the best now and be the best for that team and be the best for that state and bring back a Super Bowl wherever I go.

“Off the field, you’re going to get somebody who wants to give back to the community right away. That’s Rashan Gary.”

Gary is projected as one of the top talents in the draft, arguably a top five pick, but this year’s class features plenty of elite defensive linemen. Along with Gary, Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell are considered pass rushers worthy of top 10 consideration.

Gary feels he stacks up at the top, and he could prove that at the Combine. At 6-foot-5, 281 pounds, Gary has exceptional speed, power and strength. This is a guy who was the top recruit coming out of high school when he signed with Michigan in 2016.

Gary, who battled a shoulder injury last season, is coming off a year in which he had 44 tackles, including seven for loss, with 3 1/2 sacks in nine games. As a sophomore in 2017, Gary had 66 tackles, including 11 1/2 for loss and 5 1/2 sacks.

He doesn’t feel like there is a major knock on him early on in the draft process. And, if there is, Gary is determined to eliminate it.

“I really don’t know to be honest,” Gary said when asked about what question teams will have about his play.

“Any boxes that need to be checked off, I’ll make sure all the boxes will be checked off.”

Told his consistency may raise questions for NFL teams, Gary said: “My goal is to be consistent. I want to be great and I want to be great right now. Every day I step on the field and strap on that helmet, I’m pushing to be great. Nothing less.”

That mindset has been observed by Michael Johnson himself. He’s been impressed with the way Gary has handled his business so far.

“It’s obvious why he’s succeeded as he has,” Johnson said. “He’s a very focused athlete. What I’ve seen from him in this process is that he recognizes the importance that his Combine performance is going to have on his draft status.

“He’s soaked up every opportunity that we’ve given him here to improve on his draft position. The thing that is most impressive is his focus and how serious he takes this.”

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