Rashan Gary Declares for 2019 NFL Draft, Will Skip Senior Season at Michigan

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2018

Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary plays against Penn State in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Defensive lineman Rashan Gary will forgo his senior season at the University of Michigan to enter the 2019 NFL draft.

Gary was a key part of one of the most dominant defenses in college football as he finished with 38 total tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Wolverines during his junior campaign.

Although his numbers dropped in 2018, it was primarily as a result of a shoulder injury that caused Gary to miss three games and limited him in two others.

After performing well as a freshman with 23 tackles, including five for loss, Gary truly burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2017.

Gary was named to the All-Big Ten First Team after registering 58 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks for head coach Jim Harbaugh.

The 6'5", 283-pound lineman has been a highly touted prospect throughout his football career, as 247Sports ranked him No. 1 overall in the 2016 recruiting class coming out of high school.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked Gary as the No. 7 overall player and No. 3 defensive lineman on his most recent big board.

One of Gary's greatest strengths is the fact he can play anywhere on the defensive line, making him an ideal fit as an end in a 3-4 defense or a tackle in a 4-3 defense at the next level.

Due to his versatility and body of work, there wasn't much left for Gary to prove by coming back for his senior season at Michigan.

Perhaps the only thing that may have helped him was showing he could stay healthy for a full season, but that was likely outweighed by the risk of potentially suffering another injury.

With his collegiate career now over, Gary has the look of a likely first-round pick who could significantly impact a team in need of a difference-maker in the defensive front seven.