Cory's Corner: Rashan Gary Is The Impetus For Packers' Defense

The No. 12 pick in 2019 has continually improved and is ready for a breakout season. 

First of all, I have to say that I was wrong about Rashan Gary. After not making much of an impact in his rookie season, he took a giant leap last year and put a lot of offensive coordinators on notice. 

“A guy that size and that speed and that athleticism, I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been in the league for 11 years,” said Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith in 2019 a month after Green Bay took Gary No. 12. “You can do a lot of things with him. In Kansas City, we had Dee Ford, he’s smaller, great get off. Justin Houston, who is a big strong guy. Get a guy like Gary, he’s both of them.”

Smith is looking like a prophet right now. Gary only played 256 of 1,155 defensive snaps in 2019. At the University of Michigan as a defensive lineman, Gary was basically asked to clog lanes and let others make plays. However, in the Packers’ 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker, he was asked to rush the passer and harness that athleticism. 

What makes the most sense out of drafting Gary was pairing him alongside veteran outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. The Smith Bros. laid the groundwork with how to become an NFL outside linebacker. And after watching Za’Darius Smith rack up 18 sacks and 63 hurries and Preston Smith tally 15 sacks and 35 hurries in 2019, Gary burned what it took into memory. 

Last year, Gary played 530 of 1,142 defensive snaps and he finished tied with the team lead in hurries with 31. The reason that’s amazing is because the other co-leader was Za’Darius Smith, but he played 428 more snaps than Gary. So Gary led the team in hurries but he played half the snaps.

So that leads us to 2021. Gary’s raw athletic ability is off the charts and he shows that each and every week. When he couples that with more one-on-one defensive moves, Gary is going to be nearly impossible to beat for offensive linemen. 

Gary has come a long way since being drafted. He may have been skeptical about changing positions. Remember, he wasn’t asked to be a focal point on defense in college and as a pro, he was asked to be feared by offensive coordinators and be someone that you cannot forget about. 

The most important thing on defense is to make the quarterback uncomfortable. The reason why Tom Brady threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s NFC Championship Game was because he was only hurried two times. 

If the Packers are going to win the NFC and get within 60 minutes of another Super Bowl title, Gary must be the impetus. He has to disrupt the pocket and cause plenty of problems for the opposing quarterback. That could be Brady, Russell Wilson or Kyler Murray.  

And judging from Gary’s quick progression into being a top-flight edge rusher, that is a very real goal. 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (70)

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HarryHodag's picture

June 05, 2021 at 06:57 am

This story is a reminder of how Gute's drafting is starting to pay off. There was a loud boo when Gary was drafted. Now he's considered a mainstay of the Packers defense.

I hope the same is true with Jordan Love.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:02 am

Gary is one of many young players drafted in last 3 or four years whose development will strengthen the team. Gutey does such a great job! Cant wait till the season.

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egbertsouse's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:07 am

He’s been anointed by the coaches, the Packer press, and fanboys as a mainstay of the defense. He has yet to prove it on the field. I’m not ready to put him in the HOF just yet.

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Coldworld's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:22 am

HoF no, but no doubt he made a notable impact last year.

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 05, 2021 at 11:17 am

Prove it on the field?

Last year PFF rated Gary as on of the most effective and efficient pass disruptors in the NFL. That is a good proof source for performance from a young player.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 05, 2021 at 02:34 pm

Hard to prove it when Pettine held back on his snaps to load up P Smith and his contract. Gary made the difference in the Playoffs and was another reason Pettine should have been jettisoned post 2019.

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Stroh's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:45 pm

Pettine didn't hold him back. Gary was on a progression schedule, which this year should be a full time role. He was very unrefined when drafted and the Packers have been gradually giving him more snaps as he's been ready. Dividends start paying this year!

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 06, 2021 at 06:38 am

He looked like he could get the job done his rookie season with more hand to the ground sets and just use his speed rush. Why bring a guy in high and watch moss grow around his ankles?

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cheezyone's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:08 am

Before the 2019 draft, I had Rashan Gary on my draft board, as one of the top 10 players ( talent-wise) in the whole draft. I was so elated when the Packers drafted him, that I bought his jersey in his rookie season. I knew he had the talent, but it took coaching by Mike Smith, and working with the "Smith Brothers" to bring it out. I think the sky is the limit for him. I can't wait to see him unleashed.

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scoonie_penn's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:38 am

5-star recruit coming out of HS who was touted year in, year out as being a potential high impact player. He always seemed to find his way onto the injury report and couldn't match the production with the potential. I wonder what Michigan fans would say about his college career? Fast forward to GB, he's shown flashes and will be counted on the deliver, be productive and available. We'll see if he can put it all together or if his potential will be greater than his production. Time will tell.

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Hematite's picture

June 05, 2021 at 02:13 pm

Being a Michigan Wolverine fan and watching every Michigan game that I can, I was never impressed by Gary.
In my wildest dreams I never expected him to be drafted in the first round.
After the Packers drafted him, I had to go to his highlight reel to see what I had missed.
His highlight reel was extremely short.
I was glad that he seemed to come on late last season, but I just don't have a lot of faith that his late season production will continue.

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 02:55 pm

I appreciate the hell out of your offering this, Hematite.

I was just posting minutes ago about how we all have our own eye tests. Hoping the Gary selection turns out better than my former Sun Devil Damarious Randall... when I wanted Eric Kendricks.

Shakes head. Big sigh. Long exhale... shakes head again. “Whooosh.”

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Stroh's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:49 pm

Blame your UM coaches for limiting Gary's production and development. He was put in a position that didn't allow him to do either. His coaches and UM failed him! Not the other way around.

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stockholder's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:43 am

I'm still booing this this pick. I will always Boo this pick. But Gary has escaped the Bust label. ( Seriously: Good for him. ) But: I still feel the problem with the pick; was the Time it's taken Gary to be that good player. That the switch in positions; isn't what gets a Team to the super-Bowl. This isn't about Gary becoming a NFL star. It's about Gute building for tomorrow, rather then the present. We had the Smiths. So when you compare Gary to Burns and others in 2019 draft. Gary really was the wrong pick. But that doesn't matter to any Packer fan now. He isn't a Bust. Gary is on his way to becoming a popular player. The excitement was worth the wait. But it's hard not to imagine; where the packers might have been. If Gute " took" a different approach instead.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 05, 2021 at 08:06 am

SH,
The fact everyone can second guess a draft pick (Monday morning QB) is part of what makes being a fan fun. I was not dissapointed in the Gary pick at the time like most all fans here, but I did want Burns, or the smaller DL the Bill's drafted.

When talking about Love, or just a QB taken in general in round 1 there is a 50% failure rate. The fact Gary appears to have the talent and may be ready to become an ALL-PRO in year 3 means it was not a bad pick. In fact, if you recall 99% of everyone here at CHTV following the 2018 season said it would take at least 3 years before the Packers had enough talent to become a playoff team again. Therefore, drafting a player capable of immediate starting talent would not have been the best approach by Gutey at the time. Gary was extraordinarily young when drafted and had the incredible talent and upside. With the team talent re-building his talent is blossoming at the right time. The only reason your argument would make any sense was in hindsight Gutey surprised everyone and injected talent immediately through FA and the draft combined with the addition of a young, talented, and creative coach in LF.

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davekenya's picture

June 05, 2021 at 12:53 pm

The Packers needed to get better at the OLB position. My sense at that time was that it was not a sure thing that BOTH Smiths would instantly solve the pass rushing problem. Thus, drafting Gary was adding to the mix -- between these 3 guys, two would emerge to be talented starters. It just so happened that the Smiths took center stage right off the bat; allowing Gary more time to develop.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 05, 2021 at 01:12 pm

sh - why do I think that you boo Christmas?

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 05, 2021 at 11:22 am

I am booing you for this comment. You do realize the time to grade a draft pick is after two or three years, right?

Gary is getting a high grade after his sophomore year by objective observers and his coaches.

Gutey could cure cancer and you would probably whine he put oncologists out of work.

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stockholder's picture

June 05, 2021 at 04:27 pm

The fact is: Daniels was cut after the draft. After they failed to trade him. So Wilkins DE/DT or Dexter Lawrence should have been the pick. To replace Daniels. Plus: At the time DE. was in question. This created two holes on the DL that haven't been fixed yet.

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 04:13 pm

Lawrence Guy, a former Sun Devil was selected in R7 in 2011 by Ted Thompson.

Mike Daniels wanted to cash in. He left for Detroilet, signing a $9.1M contract, $7.8M guaranteed. Business.

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stockholder's picture

June 05, 2021 at 04:36 pm

Dexter Lawrence. I'll change it. Also the draft grades I've seen to date have a C+ rating

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 06, 2021 at 03:47 am

Well, yeah, but GB released Daniels, who was under contract for 2019 for $8M or so cash with a $10M cap number. That decision was just business, too, but it was one made by GB and not driven by Daniels' desire to cash in.

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Coldworld's picture

June 06, 2021 at 07:59 am

Daniels had struggled physically the prior season and continued to do so after he left. It was an example of knowing when to let go that the team got absolutely right. The Daniels of the year before was a much more limited player, the downslope was pretty steep after.

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Stroh's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:57 pm

The DL they could have drafted and possibly should have, was Jeffrey Simmons not the stiffs Wilkins and Lawrence!

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 08:47 pm

Simmons & Lawrence are very similar. Simmons looks to be coming on more year 2 but Lawrence has better stats overall. Simmons similar in fewer games, looking more efficient.

Wilkins & Oliver not so hot.

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Stroh's picture

June 05, 2021 at 09:13 pm

Lawrence and Simmons are nothing alike. Lawrence is a 350+ LB NT. Simmons is a 300 LB 3tech or a true 34 DE. Simmons is I'm the mold of other Miss ST DL, following the footprints of Fletcher Cox. Lawrence would take NT and move Clark to DE. Simmons would play DE and allow Clark to play his preferred NT. Simmons most most of his rookie season and was limited when he played due to an ACL injury while preparing for the draft. Simmons fell due to injury and an off field situation. He was a Top 5 talent otherwise.

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greengold's picture

June 06, 2021 at 10:23 am

I was only referring to overall production. If an NT is producing 3-Tech numbers... Right? Similar to the way Kenny Clark is not limited to NT.

It doesn’t matter all that much.

Kind of goes to your point though, that Gary & Burns are different players, selected to do different things in their respective defenses.

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Stroh's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:54 pm

As clueless as ever. Burns is a one trick pony and Gary will far outperform him in the long game.

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 08:53 pm

Gary is nowhere near his ceiling. Burns might be there now. Yeah. Now is Rashan’s time to take off.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 06, 2021 at 04:14 am

Gary might truly blossom. He might become special and be a better player than Burns. However, Burns has been far more productive over their respective 2 initial seasons so far, and it isn't close even adjusting for snap differentials. Burns didn't have Smith and Smith ahead of him, but Burns is the more productive and efficient on a per snap basis as well, so far. Burns did have Mario Addison (9.5 sacks in Burns' rookie year) and Bruce Irvin (8.5 sacks in Burns' rookie year) ahead of him, so they weren't bums either.

Over their first two seasons, Burns has 37 QB hits to Gary's 14; Burns has 16.5 sacks to Gary's 7; Burns has 60 pressures to Gary's 24. Burns has 24 hurries to Gary's 8. Moreover, Burns drops into coverage as often as Preston Smith. Gary, er, doesn't do that much nor well.

All stats PFR.

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Coldworld's picture

June 06, 2021 at 08:05 am

Different usage and development plans, one changing roles, very different players despite being lumped together by a positional tag. I’d expect their stats to be different. I don’t see Burns doing a lot of what Gary does. This is not to knock Burns at all, just pointing out that statistics as cited don’t mean much as to the wisdom of the pick in terms of NFL career.

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greengold's picture

June 06, 2021 at 10:26 am

Exactly. Gary is often flexed into 3-tech/5-tech. They are different players with different roles, in different systems.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 06, 2021 at 06:43 am

Montez Sweat was the guy to bring in as a plug and play OLB/DE. He has the movement skills in space to go along with his rush skills.

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greengold's picture

June 06, 2021 at 07:42 am

Sweat is a real player. No doubt. 16 sacks, 20 TFL, 33 QB Hits over his first two years. Burns had 16.5 sacks, 13 TFL and 37 QB Hits in the same span.

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Savage57's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:48 am

I was, and still am a little disappointed the Packers took Gary and passed on Brian Burns with the #12 pick.

Gary was taken while Burns was still there. Two years in, Burns has been twice as productive. More than double Gary's AV according to PFR, 11 v. 5.

They could have taken Brian Burns with the Gary pick (16 sacks v. 7), and taken Chase Winovich (11 sacks v. 7) with the pick they burned on Sternberger. It might have made either of the Smith's unnecessary and freed those FA dollars up for a true DL or maybe a CB signing.

But in the end, we live with the choices they make, and resign ourselves to hope.

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 03:01 pm

Saturday: “Reliving Drafts Past,” on “ALL MY PACKERS.”

Ha! Couldn’t help myself, Savage!!! Yeah, your plan proposed might have required a crystal ball to wield in real time. Preston Smith ranked #1 in the NFL in pressure rate, 2018, though, which does lend credence to you here. If I went DL that draft, I would have gone Wilkins at #12, who wound up going 13 to MIA.

Edge rusher was a huge need in 2019 after Matthews and Perry hit the wall. Neither of Z nor Preston were considered Top 5 edge rushers in FA 2019, but they were bargains who produced. BIGTIME.

Gutekunst had to hedge his bet with what they considered the No.1 player on the board in Rashan Gary. Based on what they did with Gary, Burns wouldn’t have been thrown in as a starter getting all the reps like he was in CAR.

Z, Preston & KC became 3 of the NFL’s Top 25 pass rushers 9 weeks into that season... eh, I get it. There were just too many holes to fill. I’m a BIG proponent of DL too.

Hoping for another big add there.

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 05, 2021 at 01:44 pm

You are assuming (you know what that word means, Savage) Brian Burns or Vinovich would have produced far better than Gary with the Smiths in front of HIM.

Frankly, no one knows. But I sincerely doubt it. Let's see who has the better career going 5 years from now from the edge rusher class of 2019.

I admit I too was disappointed in the Gary pick. He has proved me wrong that I was wrong.

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 02:43 pm

There’s really no “ wrong,” for fans. Sometimes we get lucky when your team’s GM takes a player or two you liked.

Draft stuff is so crazy that GMs with millions of dollars & countless scouts & staff miss or often than hit.

As fans, we are mere consumers given opportunities to only guess, with info we’ve been spoon fed or paid subscriptions for, all of it is second/third/fourth hand & always lesser.

But we all have our own eye tests as football fans. Personally, I watch a lot of PAC12, being an ASU Alum. Pat Tillman was in my graduating class. He was a great guy too, and one hell of a LB. My 2nd career. I love that school. Regardless, we all watch what we can/have available. We’re not completely devoid of reason regarding certain players, as we/some watch enough college games. That keeps it fun.

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Coldworld's picture

June 06, 2021 at 08:08 am

If a player turns out to be good, and Gary is good, I’ve got other things to get fired up about than was another pick better.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 06, 2021 at 06:51 am

It would have made P Smith irrelevant and the resources could have been used less redundantly, but the 10 year plan gave you an overpaid extension to Perry and Matthews seeing his legs go while Ted and Co. whiffed on secondary selections. Still feeling the weak links in the D line.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 05, 2021 at 07:51 am

Leading up to the draft, the dislike for Gary on this site was nearly unanimous. Then when we drafted him, it got worse. Then when he played sparsely as a rookie, it got worse.

Some fickle people have crow on their plate. They should eat up and get ready for a second helping when Love takes over.

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MajWhiplash's picture

June 05, 2021 at 08:24 am

He's not that good. He was a what 12 pick? How many 12 picks play sparingly on other teams. How many single sacks has he had versus jumping on the pile second or third. No he was a second round pick and thats all he is.
He wasnt that good at Mich so why would he shine in the NFL.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 05, 2021 at 11:22 am

He was a consensus top 15 player leading up to the draft, so I don’t know where that “not good at Michigan “ stuff comes from. And he played sparingly his rookie year because the players in front of him played well and stayed healthy.

I understand some people want rookies to have an immediate impact, but fortunately the Packer front office understands that the draft is about the future.

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 12:10 pm

Gary really got the shaft from fans then, without a doubt, and that needle has barely budged to this day.

I remember the calls well, watching with some of my best buds at a bar, mostly loaded with draft nuts. Wilkins. Burns. Sweat. Fant. Looking back on it, I never once thought Gary would be there at 12, nor did I consider that they liked him that much. I wanted Savage!!! Felt we would win the draft if we got Savage, a ballhawk S who could range with 4.3...

I was stunned with that pick of Gary, in the moment.

Took a moment to steady myself, per norm in Round 1, then figured it out. Yeah, if he’s No. 1 on your board...

You can imagine how stoked I was when we traded up for Savage from 30 to 21. Wow.

——————————

Just for kicks, I went back to look up my mocks that I had put together for that draft:

12 ILB Devin Bush
30 WRS Hakeem Butler
44 FS Darnell Savage
75 NT Khalen Saunders
114 WR/KR Terry McLauren
118 OT Tytus Howard
150 RB Trayveon Williams
185 OG Terronne Prescod
194 CB Jimmy Moreland
226 TE Donald Parham

12 DE Clelin Ferrell
30 RT Dalton Risner
44 FS Juan Thornhill
75 RB Darrell Henderson
114 TE Jace Sternberger
118 WR Andy Isabella
150 NT Daylon Mack
185 ILB TJ Edwards
194 CB Isaiah Johnson
226 NT Albert Huggins

12 DE/DT Christian Wilkins
30 EDGE Brian Burns
44 S Nasir Adderley
75 OT Gregg Little
114 CB Isaiah Johnson
118 RB Darrell Henderson
150 WR Mecole Hardman
185 TE Donald Parham
194 ILB Cody Barton
226 WR Tyre McCants

12 DE/DT Christian Wilkins
30 FS Darnell Savage
44 OT Dalton Risner
75 OG/C Eric McCoy
114 WR Mecole Hardman
118 TE Jace Sternberger
150 RB Justice Hill
185 CB Jimmy Moreland
194 ILB Blake Cashman
226 NT Trysten Hill

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 05, 2021 at 01:06 pm

Your Savage love-in with Gutekunst, I think, reveals something about the GMs drafting philosophy. If he (Gutekunst) really, really likes a player - who is highly-ranked on the Packers draft board - he will go and get that player - if the opportunity presents itself.

I believe that is also what happened with the Jordan Love pick. I don't think that Gutekunst was initially looking to draft a QB in the 1st round. But when the players that the Packers had wanted were selected - there alone was Love on the draft board (whom I believe the Packers had rated in the top half of the first round). At this point Gutekunst couldn't help himself - he saw that when a potential franchise player was within reach - he jumped at the opportunity. I truly like that about Gutekunst - he'll attempt to grab the brass ring if he sees it.

I also see that you were sweet on Sternberger in your mocks. I expect that this will be his make it or break it year. He's on my Must Watch list.

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Stroh's picture

June 05, 2021 at 08:08 pm

Those other teams your thinking of aren't nearly as successful as the Packers either. Every draft pick needs development, even JJ Watt, who played alot but wasn't particularly productive as a rookie. Gary at least has the tools to become similar whereas others do not. Many #12 overall picks are busts. Gary certainly isn't and won't be that!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 05, 2021 at 09:39 pm

LOL!

LOVE it! :)

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MajWhiplash's picture

June 05, 2021 at 08:22 am

He still reminds me of Perry is many ways. HIs contract year will be the best and then adios I want da moooney.

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stockholder's picture

June 05, 2021 at 10:05 am

Exactly!

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Since'61's picture

June 05, 2021 at 08:59 am

I have been a supporter of the Gary pick from the moment they drafted him. I predicted at that time that they would being him along slowly which is exactly what the packers have done. If you annualize his numbers from either his rookie or second season you have double digit sacks in both years, not to mention nearly double the hurries.

He has all the tools to become a force on defense for the Packers. My hope is that this is the season when he finally plays the majority of the defensive snaps.
70-75% would be about right. He can be the guy who takes over a game and wrecks the opponent's offense game plan.

Because he was drafted at #12 people expected him to be an automatic starter and an instant HOF player. Those expectations are unrealistic for a player who came as a junior and was only 20 years old. A 20 year old playing against 24-27 year old NFL veterans is a huge leap for any player. The Packers handled Gary correctly and have allowed him to grow into his role rather than have him get beat up and frustrated as a rookie and possibly lose confidence in himself. With the Smiths in front of him on the depth chart there was no reason to force Gary onto the field before he was ready.

IMO this is the year the Packers need to let him play and give him a chance to have a breakout season. If that doesn't happen we then have to ask is it the player or the coaches. Thanks, Since '61

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 05, 2021 at 01:50 pm

That is how I see it too '61....good post.

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TarynsEyes's picture

June 05, 2021 at 09:51 am

I understand the hype-hope for Gary but every one of his regular-season sacks came while playing in GB against Den, Det, Chi, Jac, Phil, not exactly the cream offenses, and his 1.5 against the Rams in the playoff game also in GB. Where is he in road games? I hope he gives all that is expected, but he needs to take his game on the road.

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greengold's picture

June 05, 2021 at 11:16 am

Agree. He’s got his stuff to fix. I do think it will happen though with more reps, in his 3rd year of development. Wouldn’t doubt seeing Z’s & Gary’s reps flip this season.

Just said, “3rd year of development...” The #12 pick must show big production in this season.

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

June 05, 2021 at 10:38 am

Gary did get a sack in Detroit (Week 14).

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TarynsEyes's picture

June 05, 2021 at 11:08 am

You're right, I read that one wrong but does that one @Det really make my point moot or does it show he still needs much better road presence?

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 05, 2021 at 01:53 pm

Mostly makes your post the usual debbie downer variety, per expectation.

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TarynsEyes's picture

June 05, 2021 at 02:38 pm

Not a downer, but keeping it in perspective which blind optimists cannot comprehend.

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dobber's picture

June 05, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Who didn't?

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HawkPacker's picture

June 05, 2021 at 10:09 am

I think the drafting of players is all about expectations. I was excited that GB had the 12th pick in the 2019 draft as they usually have had a pick in the 20's.

I had high expectations that they would draft a stud at #12 that would start immediately and be an impact started maybe not in the initial year but soon there after. Remember Gary is the 12th pick. I was so disappointed as I follow the Big 10 and did not year much about him at all plus all the draftniks were not that excited about him either. Plus they signed two free agents at that position before the draft and I did not think that this was a real position of need for GB. So it was a real downer for me.

Now the following year they had a late first round pick and IMO followed their board as to who were the best players available at the time of their pick. It appears that Jordan Love was the only legitimate first round pick available to them at that time and thought that they must get this guy for the future. There have been many fans complaining about this pick. Myself, I thought it might be a year or two early to get a replacement quarterback for AR but also realized that GB will be picking in the late 20's or 30's every year and the odds of them getting the right QB is pretty low so I agree that they should have pulled the trigger...and they did!

There have been many complaints about both of these picks. I really am not that enamored with Gary but am hopeful that he turns into a real stud for GB but I have not seen that yet. Who knows about Love at this point, but we do have a chance to have our third straight stud QB which is unheard of.

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

June 05, 2021 at 10:17 am

"And after watching Za’Darius Smith rack up 18 sacks and 63 hurries and Preston Smith tally 15 sacks and 35 hurries in 2019, Gary burned what it took into memory"

Cory Cory Cory... you really should fire your statistician! When you throw numbers out there, you need to get it right.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 06, 2021 at 04:26 am

I can't find 530 snaps and I sure can't find co-leader in hurries either.

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jhtobias's picture

June 05, 2021 at 11:12 am

If Keke stay consistent , and savage and Gary keep the arrow going upward which the next step is pro bowl level , and Jenkins has already turned into a stud the 2019 draft will go down as one of the best in team history. Heck even summers is a great special team player.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 06, 2021 at 10:30 am

I cannot think of Gary alone - without thinking of the top of the Packers 2019 draft - which is forming into one of the best ever. Here's a quick snapshot:

No. 12: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan.
No. 21 Darnell Savage, S, Maryland.
No. 44: Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi St.

To recall - Savage was a 'free' wallet that Gutekunst picked from the pockets of the Saints the year before (with their 1st round pick). While Jenkins may be one the best 2nd round GBP picks ever - certainly for o-linemen.

In Gary, I believe that the Packers fully expected that he would be a longer developmental project. But he's just only 23 and ascending into his prime. More than anything else, Gary has been a casualty in The Age of Instant Gratification. Still, the best is yet to come. A good sign is that Gary was ranked in the top 10 for disruption rate in the NFL for 2020.

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 05, 2021 at 02:01 pm

Yeah, AP...top 10 disrupter in a pass happy NFL means little now because back then we could have had Burns who would have beaten out both Smiths on the depth chart.

Some fans accuse Gutey of living in the future too much, while the same fans live in the past certain the future would be better "if only".

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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 05, 2021 at 02:25 pm

2019 Z. Smith - 13.5 sacks
2019 P. Smith - 12.0 sacks
2019 B. Burns - 7.5 sacks

"because back then we could have had Burns who would have beaten out both Smiths on the depth chart." I think not.

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 06, 2021 at 09:34 am

I worded it poorly. I was trying to be sarcastic because some fans were upset Gary was selected ahead of other edge rushers still on the board.

The point I was attempting to make was Gary was on the depth chart below two prolific pass rushers named Smith.

And I doubt any of the 2019 draft class rushers would have performed better than Gary did. All of them would have had limited plays with the Packers starting Preston and Z.

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BamaPackFan's picture

June 05, 2021 at 12:48 pm

The Packers Brass took a shot on someone who could be truly special. No one had ever run that fast at that size, with that strength. No, he probably wasn't going to be a superstar as a rookie. Most aren't and he had to change positions. What I like is that they took an educated gamble on an extremely rare athlete who is extremely tough. I will support that strategy every time.
Those who say he's outta here 1st chance he gets,.. you don't even know the man. He could just as likely stay and be a Packer legend.

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PhantomII's picture

June 06, 2021 at 11:32 am

Hope so.

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PhantomII's picture

June 06, 2021 at 11:28 am

Gary should have been starting midway thru last season. As commented, another reason Pettine should have gone sooner. As far as Gary bringing along slowly, yea until his production was doubling Prestons....another poor decision of many. NFCC game 2019, not having Smiths ready to set the edge...another poor coaching
showing. Gary should be starting day 1 this year period. I cannot fathom P. Smith having enough to push Gary out of this spot. Michigan did a sucky job with his abilities and work ethic. Not impressed by them. If Gary starts and stays healthy, I'm looking at 15 sacks this year from him alone. He is surpassing Z and I like Z also. It's gonna get crazy on defense with the secondary locking down the offenses. Good times.....GPG!!!

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greengold's picture

June 06, 2021 at 04:27 pm

Biggest thing for me with the Rashan Gary pick, is I didn’t even know him. Had zero clue about him because he seemed out of reach, so I didn’t bother including him in my draft players to study.

I love the guy.

There is no way I would bet against Gary, after learning about him. Talent, motor, ablility, and insane motivation. He’s tireless in studying the game & perfecting his craft. Physically gifted an understatement. I thinks he’s a special one, and we ought to see that in a big way this year.

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