Rashan Gary skips Michigan pro day drills, already prepping for NFL draft

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Rashan Gary skips Michigan pro day drills, already prepping for NFL draft

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Rashan Gary’s overtraining for 60-yard shuttles, broad jumps, and three-cone drills. The former Michigan defensive end did that for weeks leading up to the NFL Scouting Combine, and then absolutely aced the test.

Gary’s combine numbers were excellent, record-setting in some respects. His 40-yard dash was lighting quick for someone standing 6-foot-4, 276 pounds, and he showed agility and power at every turn.

Gary saw little use in doing it all over again Friday morning at Michigan’s pro day. He weighed in and then took a spot on the sideline cheering former teammates. His combine measurements and times will stand alone, which is fine by him and most scouting this event.

NFL scouts already know he’s an athletic freak, including some that met with him Friday. Another vertical jump won’t change those thoughts. It was time to turn the page.

“It’s time to get back to football,” Gary said at Michigan’s Schembechler Hall. “I trained hard for all the drills and tests, and I feel like I did what I had to do at the combine. Now I’m focused on playing the game of football and areas where I need to improve.”

There isn’t much left to show at this point. Gary’s game tape is out there for all to see. His combine numbers are, too. That’s why he didn’t break a sweat Friday, exerting himself only during his takeover of the NFL’s Instagram account. He put the phone down after the well-attended session wrapped, stood before a wall of Michigan greats, hoping he’s the next Wolverine to star in the NFL.

Gary hadn’t been to Ann Arbor, Mich. in some time, training for the combine down south. He enjoyed a relatively quick return to Michigan and the opportunity to catch up with old friends and bask in the school’s great tradition.

“My fingerprint still works (to get in the building), so I guess they haven’t kicked me out yet,” Gary said with a smile. “I’m happy to be back and reminiscing about all the good memories I made here the past few years.”

Physically, he’s already prepping for rookie minicamp for an undetermined team.

“I’m stuck in grind mode,” Gary said. “I’ll get back down to Texas (at former Olympian Michael Johnson’s training complex) and start preparing for rookie minicamp. I won’t think about the draft until the day it gets here when I’m waiting for my phone to ring and ready to put on a new hat.”

The cap’s logo and color scheme will become clear shortly after the NFL Draft begins on April 25. Gary’s expected to be a top 10 pick, believing full well he’s the No. 1 prospect in this draft. He’s scheme versatile. He can play anywhere, do it all well.

The exact selection won’t change his confidence and frankly isn’t the most important thing to a physically imposing, yet soft-spoken guy who has trained most of his life for an NFL opportunity.

“I just want to go to the perfect fit for me,” Gary said. “I want to play for a team who likes me for me and what I can bring to the table. I just want the opportunity to play football man, to strap that helmet and pads back on and go play. The team that drafts me is going to get someone always pushing to be great. When I say that, I mean Pro Bowls and Super Bowls and the Hall of Fame. That’s the mindset I have. I’m going to strive and push until I get there.”

[RELATED: Raiders draft target Gary should shine at combine]

Convincing NFL teams that is the only thing left at this stage, Gary is letting potential employers in a bit, to show them what he stands for. That will happen during in-depth official visits to NFL teams. He has a long schedule ahead, including stops with the Raiders and 49ers and several other teams picking near the top of the NFL draft.

“People want to find out what makes me tick, and my knowledge of the game,” Gary said. “It’s about them learning who I am and what I can bring to the table and how they can help me be the best player I can be. I want to be great.”

NFL free agency: Raiders target George Iloka agrees to Cowboys contract


NFL free agency: Raiders target George Iloka agrees to Cowboys contract

The Raiders added one former Bengals defender earlier this week. They were not able to add another.

Safety George Iloka, who reportedly visited the Raiders earlier in the week, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

The team announced the deal on Saturday.

The Raiders reunited linebacker Vontaze Burfict with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther on Tuesday, and tried to do the same with Iloka, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. The 28-year-old spent the 2018 season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Missing out on Iloka isn't the worst thing in the world for the Raiders. They addressed the safety position over the last week with the additions of Lamarcus Joyner and Curtis Riley.

NFL free agency: Raiders sign QB Mike Glennon to back up Derek Carr


NFL free agency: Raiders sign QB Mike Glennon to back up Derek Carr

The Raiders wanted an experienced backup quarterback behind Derek Carr, and got one Friday by signing Mike Glennon.

Now they hope he never plays. It’s still a vital role in meeting rooms and on-the-field, should an emergency arise on game day. Young bucks can get caught in the headlights. Veterans won’t be as good as the starter, but can generally function better being inserted into a game without many practice reps.

He has hopped into action during five seasons and has 22 starts, meaning he can handle short-relief or a stretch as the starter.

That calms some fan's nerves after the Raiders released AJ McCarron, who has already signed with the Houston Texans, leaving Nathan Peterman as the only non-Carr quarterback on the roster.

Glennon steps into the No. 2 slot having completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 5,107 yards and 35 touchdowns with 20 interceptions over five seasons.

Peterman is still with the Raiders on a futures contract, and is the No. 3 guy at the moment.

Many will look at the signing and wonder if it impacts the possibility of drafting a quarterback next month. It’s hard to rule anything out, but the disciplined choice would be to address the pass rush early and often in the 2019 NFL Draft, though a quarterback could get taken later in the selection process.

But…having Glennon on the roster won’t prohibit the Raiders from taking Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins. Would the Raiders eliminate the prospect of taking Quinnen Williams because interior pass rushers P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst were drafted last year? Absolutely not.

A edge rusher is the team’s most pressing need and must be addressed with quality and quantity before the season starts.

The Raiders don’t have to take a quarterback now in the draft, and adding Glennon takes the pressure off the demand to get another one down the line. Glennon should be viewed as a reliable backup who can step into service if Carr isn’t available.