Cory's Corner: The Progression Of Rashan Gary

The 12th overall pick in 2019 has taken a big jump in his second year. 

I have to say it. I was completely wrong about Rashan Gary. 

I knew that he was athletic at Michigan, but I wasn't sure how he would translate that to the NFL.

Last year in his rookie season, Gary was largely overmatched, which was why he only played 22 percent of the defensive snaps — 256 of the 1,155 total. 

What a difference a year makes. 

Gary is 12th on the defense in total number of defensive snaps by playing in 361 of 828 (44 percent) snaps this season. According to ProFootballReference.com, Gary is 48th in the NFL with eight quarterback hurries, which is two more than Saints five-time Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan. 

"It's great when you see a guy that put the work in the offseason, especially in an offseason where you were essentially on your own," said Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in November. "He didn't have the spring structure with us and all the learning stuff was virtual, but the workout stuff, he just came in in such good shape."

That last sentence is pretty telling. Remember all the noise about his attitude and work ethic? During a pandemic, the cream certainly rises to the top. A player's motivation must always be pointed in the right direction and even without a true offseason, Gary still turned heads. He knew what he had to do and he clearly got it done. 

Watching Gary is so much fun because he is such a disrupter. Everyone likes to point to his sacks to prove why Gary is over his head. However, a deeper look reveals that he has only blitzed 17 percent of the time and has five sacks. That's a very strong ratio. Conversely, Preston Smith has blitzed 34 percent of the time and has only three sacks. That's why Gary should be poaching Smith's snaps — Gary is just putting up better numbers and he brings a vibrant juice when he's in the game. 

"He's a guy that's improving, that's going to keep on improving," said Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark. "I'm just excited about his development."

And Gary's developement is why the Packers defense is starting to get some teeth. He is closing off the edge and collapsing the pocket, making opposing quarterbacks feel very uncomfortable. Does he need a couple more moves? Sure. Early on, it was evident that Gary only used the bull rush at Michigan, but in the NFL, you cannot just win with a fastball all the time. He needs to mix it up. 

Gary's energy is exactly what this defense needs with just three regular season games left. Teams will have to be aware of where Gary is because he can implode offensive game plans in a hurry. 

And to think that Gary is still a sophomore in this league. 

 

 

-------------------

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

11 points

Comments (80)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
mnbadger's picture

December 15, 2020 at 06:29 am

Gary has proven me wrong. He still has a way to go before we crown him the next Minister of D, but if he continues to hone his craft, tune his body and play with high effort the sky is the limit. Keep it up RG. GPG

14 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 15, 2020 at 07:14 am

Gary's development has come along nicely. The next question is at what point is the defensive game plan impeding his development?

Gary needs to play to improve more. He needs to begin seeing the field more than other players that do not show his production and potential. We all know who these guys are who need to be cheering him on instead of taking up space.

The defensive game planning needs to change relative to the personnel and talents that have become apparent for the 2020 season. So far this is not happening. Every season is different and the scheme needs to adjust and the game planning needs to be flexible to allow the players playing the best to do what they do best to serve the goals of the team.

Bust out of those wagon ruts and let the Pet-shop boys eat!

0 points
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Guam's picture

December 15, 2020 at 07:48 am

I was very concerned with the choice of Gary coming out of college because of his lack of productivity at Michigan despite being the #1 player coming from high school. I thought his bust factor could be very high. Despite those feelings, I also knew Gary would need at least a year to make the conversion from down defensive lineman to stand up OLB. I am delighted that Gary is proving my concerns invalid with a strong second season.

I would like to see Gary get more playing time as this season progresses - he has earned it. I would also not be surprised if Preston Smith is let go in a cost cutting move and Gary becomes a starter next year. He is playing well enough he should be the starter now. GPG!

8 points
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4thand10's picture

December 16, 2020 at 10:54 am

I see that, but you really do need 3 outside rushers....long seasons, injuries etc

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

December 15, 2020 at 07:59 am

The thing we all need to do with young players is to allow them a chance to develop. If the first play of their first game, they don't make a play they are being deemed a bust. It takes some players time and we all need to remember that. Remember Aaron Rodgers his rookie year. It takes times for players to develop. Gary is no different. But we are already seeing what he is capable of. But he isn't done developing. He has taken a big step from last year to this year. He should take another step next year.

I look forward to seeing how he progresses! But right now he has really improved and is helping the defense!

6 points
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byu.tech's picture

December 15, 2020 at 08:31 am

you pick at 12 because you need a starter from day 1. if you want a 3 year development player you pick in later rounds

-5 points
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Since'61's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:17 am

I haven’t seen that in the NFL draft operating manual.
Remember Gary came out as a junior. That is a factor in his development. Also, if they let him play more snaps he will have a bigger impact on the defensive side of the ball.
I’m not sure at this point why Pettine is holding him back.
My guess because of how much they are paying for Preston Smith. Thanks, Since ‘61

3 points
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mnbadger's picture

December 15, 2020 at 12:16 pm

hopefully we don't make game day decisions based on salary or bonuses and the like. a wise man once said you play to win the game. his play time should only be based on best chance to win this game and possibly the next. nothing else. GPG

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 05:38 pm

Why, then, is Kirksey playing most of the snaps?

1 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

December 15, 2020 at 12:24 pm

According to coach, Gary was dealing with a minor injury and that's why his snaps dropped in the second half. They're playing for first seed and a title. At this point, they are going to play the guys that can get them there, not the guys who make more money.

2 points
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Since'61's picture

December 15, 2020 at 11:05 am

Deleted double post, sorry. Thanks, Since ‘61

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

December 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm

You don't always pick for a starter at 12, or you're picking for someone's lower ceiling. You pick the guy with the highest ceiling or you're stuck with a less productive, less talented player in year 2 or 3. Some guys are more NFL ready but hit their ceiling sooner. Gary is/was very young, as was Kenny Clark and needed time to develop. If he ends up better than guys chosen after him, he was very much worth the pick, even though it took some time to develop. It is looking like that might be the case here. He's got the physical traits and the attitude to be very good for a very long time.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 05:50 pm

Who would show more than Gary? Montez Sweat, but Gutedkunst bagged the two big Edge guys in free agency. Gary is more stout. After # 12 the other guys are DTs at Clark's spot and the other half were injured their rookie season. Savage comes in at #21

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 16, 2020 at 01:44 am

Brian Burns would be better so far. Most fans wanted Burns.
Dexter Lawrence would be better so far. I loved him.
Jeffrey Simmons would be better so far.
Montez Sweat would be better so far.

@westcoastpacker

Taking a boom/bust pick @ 12 is dicey.
Taking a project - why didn't he learn pass rush moves at MI?
Taking a conversion at 12 is dicey.

It was a risky pick. We are just waiting to see the number on the die. Right now, Gary has shown he can play at a competent level in the NFL. He's isn't going to be a bust. He might still be a disappointment. Let's see what he and the coaches can do with him. I like Coach Smith a lot. I don't see bend and change of direction from Gary. He has strength, speed and athleticism, and we will see what kind of technician he can be.

-2 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

December 15, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Who would Gary have started over last year? Which Smith was he starting over?

This year he has pulled ahead of Preston Smith and is starting the last few games.

Gary has a very bright future.

6 points
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Bure9620's picture

December 15, 2020 at 01:54 pm

Not even remotely true...Rookie day 1 starters making a difference right away? Maybe 3, Chase Young whom was probably NFL ready last year at Ohio St., Jeremy Chinn whom has still has ups and downs and Justin Jefferson. That is really about it. The QBs have all shown potential but still all a work in progress and not taking their teams anywhere yet. The Running back from Jax has flashed too having a real nice season as is JT. But they are not field flippers yet and both are inconsistent.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 05:54 pm

Would you have taken Jones at #6 like Gettleman? The # 15 was open for the QB pick. Lock was still on the board.
That's his call, just like Pace.

0 points
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Bure9620's picture

December 15, 2020 at 06:02 pm

That is a QB conversation but if you are in love with that guy and he is your guy then go get him. I was not super high on Daniel Jones myself but if he pans out and you have 10 plus year starter and franchise QB then yes it is worth it regardless.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 06:09 pm

It was a real head scratcher considering he passed on Josh Allen, Oliver and Gary. He like s Big Ten guys. Haskins was never worthy of a one pick.

0 points
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4thand10's picture

December 16, 2020 at 10:58 am

Yeah but I would have given up that sternberger pick + a 5th to get DK Metcalf in the second round at 64. Especially with such a glaring need at WR.

0 points
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4thand10's picture

December 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

But it didn’t help that we spent the last 3 drafts looking for quality at safety and Cb.

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 17, 2020 at 09:15 am

Couldn't disagree more! So many factors that come into play when selecting a player in the draft. Gary was young and needed time to physically develop and to learn a new position. He was drafted in the perfect situation to give him time to develop with the Smiths and Kyle ahead of him. What impresses me about Gary is during his rookie year he realized several things he needed to do to develop and he did them on his own. He increased his strength and worked on his rushing moves. The Smiths were great mentors for him in year 1 on what is needed to be quality players. What I love the most about Gary so far is his relentless hustle, which reminds me so much of Matthews. What isn't there to like so far about Gary? His future is very bright and on an upward trajectory!

Frankly, we do not know how good Love will develop and what type of player he will evolve into just yet. However, it is very clear Gutey pulled a page out of the old TT playbook with Love. It is my belief and I am sure many others that if Rodgers did not sit behind Favre for 3-seasons he would not be the QB he has been. He would not have developed into being such a high percentage thrower and so cautious with the ball. I love the idea that Love might have 3-seasons to learn and develop behind Rodgers. That we might have Rodgers for the 2021 and 2022 seasons yet. If Love is everything the Packers are hoping for it will be perfect timing to jetson Rodgers with his declining play and his massive salary.

0 points
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Razer's picture

December 15, 2020 at 07:59 am

...The next question is at what point is the defensive game plan impeding his development?...

Good question. If the Packers had a better D-line and Gary had the freedom to work above the fray, he could really be a game changer. Gutekunst needs to fix this ragtag D-line and get the defense to the next level. LaFleur needs to get rid of Pettine.

3 points
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Razer's picture

December 15, 2020 at 08:00 am

This was in response to JohnnyBlood27's comment. I am not very sharp this AM.

1 points
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Bure9620's picture

December 15, 2020 at 08:23 am

Honesty, I think Gary's ceiling is pretty high. You see the insane athelticism and raw potential. He was learning a new position and learning new pass rush moves last year.

Rashan Gary last year makes me think of the movie Swingers when Vince Vaughn tells Jon Favreau about his big claws and sharp fangs and how he just doesn't know how to kill the Bunny yet. Just gently batting the bunny around.

He has all of these tools and doesn't know how to use them yet

2 points
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EstebanPablo's picture

December 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Perfect movie reference. 10 points to Gryffindor.

0 points
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byu.tech's picture

December 15, 2020 at 08:24 am

he is playing more or less like kyler fakrell last year. far far away from a 12th overall pick.
and pff grades confirm that..he has a pretty mediocre 58.
wasted pick.
have you ever seen tj watt on the field????
that's a pick!!!

-13 points
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packer132's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:07 am

Get over T. J. Watt already. He was drafted in 2017 and all teams wish they had him. Gary is playing behind the Smith's and definitely on the rise in his 2nd year.

10 points
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byu.tech's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:12 am

the point is the 12th pick. he is not worth it. that is a fact. fakrell has 55 grade and gary 58. that is a fact. but green bay fans try to see gold everywhere....gary is a rotational player at best

-8 points
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Since'61's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:21 am

Gary plays much less snaps than Fackrell. That is the reason for his ranking. For the snaps he plays Gary has a bigger impact on a game than Fackrell. Thanks, Since ‘61

5 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 06:01 pm

Gary has five sacks, Chase Young 5.5...Montez 7.0...Floyd 7.5...I don't see Fackrell burning up the charts, although he is now on IR. If Gary had P Smith's reps he would be close to double digits.

2 points
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Guam's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:49 am

Do you even watch the Packers play? PFF stats can be useful, but context is also important in statistics. Gary is playing very well, but behind two veterans with big, playmaker contracts. Guess who gets the least snaps? If Gary had the snaps others (like Fackrell) have, his PFF grade would be much higher. Watch a game and use the eye test - Gary can play.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 15, 2020 at 10:19 am

Thats a touchdown.

3 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

December 15, 2020 at 12:27 pm

I'm guessing you were down on Davante Adams in 2015 and think MVS isn't worth being on the roster. Gary is disruptive when he's on the field and has had some game saving players already in his young career, despite playing behind two veteran players. OLB is by nature rotational if you want to keep guys fresh enough to have an impact.

Worth is not "fact" it is opinion. That's your opinion.

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 16, 2020 at 01:52 am

"I'm guessing you were down on Davante...."
loved beta over VHS.
Vinyl over CDs.
Flip over iphones.

These aren't worthy of being written. They are just ad hominem.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:11 am

Gary and Fackrell are about as dissimilar as it’s possible to be within the OLB spectrum, as are the roles. Absolutely nothing like each other.

9 points
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King_James's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:48 am

Really? You're really going there. Comparing a 2nd year play who just turned 23 to a 4th year player who was 28 at the time. And you can't see the difference or the upside? Give me a break.

And let me guess, if Gary starts next year and is as good as Z Smith, it still will be a bad pick in your eyes because he wasn't elite right from his rookie year and you can't have that with the 12th overall pick? Completely ignoring all the busts and worse players that were drafted around him.

7 points
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Stroh's picture

December 15, 2020 at 10:10 pm

You simply could not be more short-sighted if you tried. Gary didn't need to start last year. Every draft pick is an investment in the future, like the next 8-10 yrs. It is absolutely NOT a pick just to plug a starting spot. Every player needs to develop and what he does as a rookie will be FAR outweighed by his production the next 7 - 9 yrs!

All your doing is making yourself look ignorant.

2 points
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Lphill's picture

December 15, 2020 at 08:34 am

I would like to see him get more snaps , reduced again against the Lions, but I supported him from the beginning I repeatedly posted that he was the number 1 high school prospect in the country and a projected 1 st round pick.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:12 am

Apparently LaFleur referenced him having picked up an injury. I guess we will see on Wednesday when the injury report comes out.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 06:05 pm

Arm or shoulder, save him for later.

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 17, 2020 at 09:20 am

That has been the #1 concern I have with Gary is he seems to pick up a lot of minor injuries during games. So far reminds me on Z-Smith with all the in game injuries. Fortunately for both none of these injuries seem to be anything substantial preventing them from continuing playing. Both these players are major hustle type players and maybe when you are flying around and constantly hustling like they seem to do the chances of injury increases. Makes total sense to me!

0 points
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murf7777's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:07 am

IMO, he was improving and developing other moves throughout the 2nd half of last year already....if where he is at is all we get then we will have an above average starter next year. He was far from a finished product coming out of college, unlike TJ Watt.

But, this pick was all about developing his extreme athleticism over time and his upside is high. I don’t think Gutey picked him to come out and be an immediate starter. His upside is multiple pro bowls and potential for an all pro.

7 points
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byu.tech's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:16 am

green bay fans love to dream ahahah
even preston smith in his worst year is better than gary...come on.

-10 points
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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 16, 2020 at 05:14 am

cow...you're posting under another screen name. How cute! We didn't know you had the intellect to pull off that highly technical feat.

0 points
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Spock's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:53 am

"IMO, he was improving and developing other moves throughout the 2nd half of last year already....". Yeah, I made a post earlier this season that I'd read Gary was reported to have (in addition to his workouts) been studying film of Reggie White and other premier pass rushers to get more moves and in a game early this year an announcer pointed out he had used Reggie's club/hump move to get to the QB. All good signs he Wants to be great.

1 points
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SugarCain's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:22 am

Give Gary the same amount of snaps/ plays as TJ Watt and see what he does! Gary has never played above 50% of the defensive snaps. He is more dominant than Preston Smith and should be playing as many snaps as Z. Smith. When the defense is struggling to get stops take a good look who AIN’T ON THE FIELD!

1 points
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byu.tech's picture

December 15, 2020 at 09:59 am

nobody care about gary because the n1 threat is zadarius!!!! wake up dreamers

-7 points
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Bure9620's picture

December 15, 2020 at 01:45 pm

I just woke up, what'd I miss????

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 15, 2020 at 03:52 pm

Nothing

2 points
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Tundraboy's picture

December 15, 2020 at 04:29 pm

Short and to the point!

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 15, 2020 at 10:10 am

Gary is young. He just turned 23 two weeks ago. He’s a good front 6 defender. We should add more.

9 points
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Tundraboy's picture

December 15, 2020 at 04:33 pm

Short and to the point.

1 points
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byu.tech's picture

December 15, 2020 at 10:36 am

what nobody here catch is that gary was a 12th overall pick.
we have wasted 2 big picks, gary and love. without those wasted picks (and dillon + deguara) we would be the best team in the nfl now!

-10 points
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12
Minniman's picture

December 15, 2020 at 03:13 pm

I will agree with you on the point that it's not yet clear whether Gary's success this year is due to defenses focusing on other players that they perceive as higher threats.

I'd like to see the stats of when he went up against an OT vs a TE. This might be telling.

Another important factor is the relative weakness of schedule that the Packers have faced - is this padding some of the stats.

By and large I believe that Gary is trending up. I'm keen to see the Titans game to see how he fares against a Playoff team.

Final comment ........ I just remember both Fackrell and Nick Perry having career years playing within a strong linebacker crew - so I'll remain cautiously optimistic on Gary until mid next year before I start gushing.

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

December 15, 2020 at 04:32 pm

edited

0 points
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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 16, 2020 at 05:48 am

Why would you even partially agree with this moron? Please do not encourage stupidity by agreeing with it.

2 points
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Minniman's picture

December 16, 2020 at 01:09 pm

Ha ha, it was tough!

You know that old saying - “even a broken clock is right twice a day”

1 points
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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 17, 2020 at 12:16 am

:)

0 points
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PatrickGB's picture

December 15, 2020 at 10:52 am

When he was picked I thought that he was another “Tweener”. Too small for DE and too big for OLB. Historically, that has not always worked out well for teams. But I see now that his RAS score was the deciding factor to move him full time to OLB. The complaint about him at #12 seems to center on the possibility that someone better could have been chosen or that he could have been picked up lower in the order. I get that. But sometimes you just have to go and get the guy you want and let the chips fall where they may.

3 points
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stockholder's picture

December 15, 2020 at 11:06 am

I'm happy for Gary and his improvement. But the pick still doesn't make sense. Seems I just have to let it go now! But I still do not agree with BG,( per what he is drafting. ) But thats not what matters most here. Gary isn't the Bust he could have become. He's beat the odds so far. And when you look at what we tried to do with Nick Perry , Datone Jones, Etc. . He's become a good match for this Defense. I guess thats BGs position. Finding what you need takes Time. Looking Back though. Time has flown since our last super-Bowl win.

-2 points
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Stroh's picture

December 15, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Let it go and get a clue.

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 17, 2020 at 09:32 am

You know Stockholder if one continues to do the same thing repeatedly one shouldn't expect the outcome to change. The Packers drafts under TT was always up and down and why there was only one SB win. Consistently hitting drafts good for a 2-3 year period never truly happened. Ted always seemed to struggle taking risks with players high in the top 3 rounds. Risks being a player has high athletic ability but is coming off an injury, or the player has a lot of upside but he is young. Draft the guy now and get him at a bargain and he will develop over the next few years.

Gutey is taking a high risk high reward approach in his drafting in my opinion. Spending extra draft capital to move up to snag a player. Drafting Gary who is very young but has so much potential and having him switch positions. Drafting Love when he did and having him sit several years and develop at the games most important position. Throughout Gutey's style of drafting the Packers continue to be very successful.

We need to recognize there are different ways to accomplish the way the Packers go about their business. I like the fact that Gutey isn't going to continue to draft like say Ted Thompson did. TT was never highly successful drafting in my opinion. He got very lucky to have Rodgers fall into his lap. TT did absolutely nothing to make a move to snag Rodgers. I think the fact he did nothing when Rodgers was sitting there a few spots ahead of the draft selection is very telling about TT's drafting ability. Remove Rodgers falling into TT's lap and TT was far from being a good draft gruru.

I'm liking everything Gutey and LF are doing with this team. Yes, I would love to see a massive RT and DL. I'd like to see another inside LB and a quality WR. Let's throw in a game changing returner. The Packers will get there but we need to remember just how bad off TT and MM put the team in terms of talent upon Gutey's hiring.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 15, 2020 at 11:15 am

Sorry, not converted.

0 points
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ricky's picture

December 15, 2020 at 11:57 am

How many times have heard the drumbeat of doubters calling out a player for being a "bust" after one or two seasons? D. Adams was a "bust" because he had a poor second year; MVS was a "bust" because he has had problems catching passes; Gary was a "bust" because he didn't play much year one; we all heard the rumblings that Savage was regressing, until he suddenly got better. Not all players catch on immediately; different players get better at different rates. Sometimes you have to be patient and wait for that light to go on- but hopefully, you also see flickers and flashes before the player blooms.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 06:47 pm

Adams was playing with a bad wheel, but he still showed up and played the game. He didn't hide on the bench.

-1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 17, 2020 at 09:36 am

Look how Jaire A. and Savage have been developing. Gary is no different in year 2. We are seeing him develop into a stud player right before our eyes. Jackson is the unfortunate selection. At present I just do not see him being a valuable player for the Packers and may very well not be with the team next year.

0 points
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fastmoving's picture

December 15, 2020 at 02:53 pm

Gary has still a lot of upside and was a good pick at 12. no question about that.
And Gutes Drafts are way better that some here want to make us believe. And they look better every week...just like Gary.
For the number of plays he is in his stats are huge

2 points
4
2
TXCHEESE's picture

December 15, 2020 at 04:15 pm

Just speculating, but I believe Gary was drafted to develop and then replace one of the Smith bros, or at least give GB some options, should they look to free up some cap space and cash. The trick will be to keep someone in the pipeline for development. Between him, Martin and Barnes, there is some really good young talent in the LB corps.

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 16, 2020 at 02:17 am

This is all true, IMO. However, the NFL is a hard cap world and GB specifically has a window of unknown length but probably 4 years or less.

Gary doesn't do the things GB asks Preston to do, specifically dropping into coverage. Gary is awful in coverage. Had the Packers selected Brian Burns, Preston would not be playing because Burns can drop into coverage and is playing better than Smith (and Gary for that matter). The Packers would be a noticeably better team at present with Burns.

I am not a fan of using hindsight when looking at drafts. However, when a specific player is the overwhelming expectation (Watt a few years ago over King and Burns over Gary), it is less far fetched to compare the two.

-1 points
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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 16, 2020 at 06:06 am

Obviously, King and Watt play totally different positions. There is no way to compare their respective contributions. It really is way, way past time for folks to get over their unrequited love for Watt. It is approaching the point of embarrassment (not directed at you personally Tgr).

The team situations for Gary and Burns are also totally different. The Panthers defense was decimated when Burns joined the team. He had instant access to playing time, and would have played regardless of the stats he has accumulated. In contrast, Gary entered a situation with two newly signed free agents in front of him.

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 17, 2020 at 09:40 am

Burns was the player I had wanted in that draft. However, Gary I believe was younger than Burns (not 100% sure), and Gary has been asked to change position. Subsequently, I think their 3rd year is a better indication for comparison.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 15, 2020 at 05:36 pm

Over matched or underutilized?

-1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 16, 2020 at 02:20 am

Gary has the same skillset as Zadarius. He can't do some of the things GB asks Preston to do. I personally favor giving Z the snaps over Gary.

I don't think it is a matter of simply playing Gary instead of Preston Smith. The only solution I see if getting all three on the field together more often.

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byu.tech's picture

December 16, 2020 at 03:59 am

brian burns
dexter lawrence
jeffery simmons
montez sweat

all taken later in the 1st round 2019 and all elite defender now. they outscore gary by far.
gutekunst failed.
not to mention that 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th round 2020 are all wasted.

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CoachDino's picture

December 16, 2020 at 04:00 pm

There's no question that the guys listed are putting up better numbers. Yes, they have played more snaps but Burns has played well as have the others so no excuses...

That said the only guy I would take now over Gary would be Jeffery Simmons. The other guys might not be the right fit and other than Simmons, I would project Gary being the more complete player, who has some special skills.

No matter how you slice it I don't see any of them being measurably better so does the difference really constitute a Bad Draft Pick? IMO, its kinda a reach to say so.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 16, 2020 at 04:01 am

Gary reminds me of Nick Perry. Big, fast, strong, sets a good edge, good tackler and can bull rush. Gary is bigger and noticeably faster in a straight-line, anyway. Now it is time to see what other skills Gary can develop.

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TXCHEESE's picture

December 16, 2020 at 10:18 am

The overwhelming difference between Gary and Perry is the desire. Perry relied on his talent. Gary came in to his second season in peak physical condition according to many sources, and according to the Smiths, he is a quick study. That, and he hasn't missed 75% of the games. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I can understand comparisons to others in the same draft, but I believe Gary still has a high ceiling. He is still growing in to that frame at his age.

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Befuddled's picture

December 16, 2020 at 01:05 pm

Hopefully that's where the similarities between him and Nick Perry begin and end. Otherwise his next skill would be playing with alternating clubs on each hand.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 17, 2020 at 09:45 am

Agree with everything you say, however there is something else that factors in that one cannot measure. It is called 'heart and it is motivation' to be the best you can be. From a fans perspective, I never saw the same type of heart and motivation in Perry that we are seeing in Gary so far. In fact, when watching Gary play his style of hustle reminds me of Matthews. The other difference between Perry and Gary relates to injury. It is way too early to be able to know how injury free Gary may be in the coming years.

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