The #14 Michigan Wolverines are loaded with individual talent, and most of it resides on the defensive side of the ball. The Wolverines boast a trio of NFL first round draft pick prospects, The triad consists of DE Rashan Gary, LB Devin Bush and DE/OLB Chase Winovich. Go here to see where we have all three of these Michigan Wolverines in our latest NFL mock draft.
Gary, one of the highest rated recruits in the Jim Harbaugh era, was first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches last season as a sophomore. He had 66 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2017. Through the first third of the season, Gary racked up 18 tackles (3.5 for loss), two sacks and three quarterback hurries.
And Harbaugh said on Monday that he thinks Gary is the Wolverines’ best player this season.
“He’s at the highest level,” Harbaugh told a news conference.
“His preparation during the week, his intensity in practice. It’s every day. Such a great example for the rest of the players on the team. It’s ‘I want to play like Rashan Gary, how do I go about that?’ Study Rashan and see how he goes about his workouts, his practice, his meetings. It’s at the highest level.”
“It’s a great position to be in as a coach. To be in a position to say ‘that’s our best player, look how he prepares … do like Rashan.’ It makes it pretty, pretty good to use him as an example.”
The 6-5, 283 junior is a #9 on Sports Illustrated’s top 100 players to watch in college football this season.
Next up in this Michigan Wolverines profile is Bush, a preseason All-American, is a sideline-to-sideline player with exceptional pass rushing abilities. His draft stock has been surging. He’s playing out of his mind right out now, leading the team in tackles with 32 including five for a loss, 2.5 sacks and one pass break-up.
Bush has the benefit of having his father, Devin Bush Sr. on the Michigan coaching staff.
Bush the Elder, a defensive analyst for the Wolverines, won a national title with Florida State in 1993 as a player and would later go on to win a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams over the course of an eight year NFL career.
“My dad was a coach and Devin’s dad a coach and I get sentimental about that,” Harbaugh said at his weekly presser on Monday. “I think that’s really cool when dads and their sons can be together and share something as big as this.”
Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters has sung the praises of Devin Bush the Younger.
“Man, he’s got everything,” Walters said. “Fast, physical, explosive, smart. He knows exactly, based on formations, what you’re going to run. He plays with relentless effort so he’s always around the ball.”
A dominant player with exceedingly dominant hair, seriously, just look at his long flowing locks, Winovich is a red shirt senior who probably made the right call in returning to the Michigan Wolverines for his fifth season.
Before the campaign started, he told reporters that he was hearing second or third round feedback from the NFL people he had talked to. He’s currently second on the team in both tackles, tackles for losses and sacks. Where he ends up in April depends on how he stacks up against the other ends in a very deep class.
You know he’s got a great work ethic, as he won the Michigan Wolverines Blue Collar Award last year as the team’s hardest worker.
Yes, this is indeed the defensive line draft, as the DL is much deeper and talented than other positions in this class. For Winovich, and Gary, the competition will be fierce.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.