Most Bucs fans are in agreement- if one of the “big three” of Williams, Bosa, and Allen fall to us at 5, we’ll all be happy. But what if all three are off the board? And what if there isn’t a trade down option for us? Montez Sweat seemed like the logical choice, but with the news that his heart condition could keep him out of the first round altogether, who would be the top guy on our list?
Devin White is getting love at our pick, but I don’t believe an off the ball linebacker is an option for us at 5th overall. Ed Oliver seems like he’d present good value, but he doesn’t have the prerequisite length for that 3-4 DE position that Bowles seems to covet- and that Jason Licht himself described as the prototype. Is Rashan Gary the best option at 5?
Gary is as controversial a prospect as you’ll find in this draft. Most of the usual talking heads aren’t huge on him, mostly due to a glaring lack of production while at Michigan. But for those who are fans of Gary, there are some strong arguments that support his worthiness to be taken in the top 5.
First we have to understand who Gary is, and it doesn’t take much detective work to find out he was a 5 star prospect who was the unanimous #1 overall of his high school class in all 4 of the major recruiting network rankings. The reasons for Gary being that top recruit become apparent with a quick glance over his combine page, as Gary is the definition of a physical freak. Gary stands 6’4″ with arms over 34″ long, and weighed in at nearly 280 lbs. But that is just the beginning, because his testing numbers showed an athlete that just doesn’t come around at that size. Gary ran a 4.58 at that weight, put up 26 reps on the bench, and had a 38″ vertical and 120″ broad jump.
So why did Gary struggle to put up numbers at Michigan? Well Gary has said that he just wasn’t a fit for that defense. Chris Simms on the other hand, believes what Gary brings isn’t necessarily reflected in the stat sheet and compared him to a prime Michael Bennett, and said he’s the type of player who wrecks games for offences and allows everyone around him to make plays due to the havoc he creates at the line of scrimmage. Others like youtubes Voch Lombardi simply believe he was miscast as a 4-3 defensive end, and that he would excel as a 3-tech in a 4-3 and a 5-tech in a 3-4.
So what do you believe, is Gary an option for the Buccaneers at 5? Would he be the best fit for our new 3-4 if the “big three” are off the board? Or is Gary simply a better athlete than he is a football player, and just not a guy who could make plays in college let alone the NFL?