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The 2018 NFL season has yet to start, but a few eyes already are looking ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft.

And, in it, a Michigan standout could hear his name called pretty early.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary at No. 3 on his preseason list of top 32 players for the 2019 NFL draft, posted Wednesday (pay site).

The 6-foot-5, 283-pound Gary is a junior, and would have to forgo his senior season in Ann Arbor to enter next year's draft. 

"Two years after he arrived in Ann Arbor as the most celebrated recruit in the country, Gary has somehow matched the hype," McShay writes. "A powerful run defender and edge-setter, he has an outstanding combination of size and athleticism, and will fit any scheme. Explosive, sudden and a nightmare to block."

More: Michigan's Rashan Gary has new view of football as contact sport

More: Michigan's 'top-tier' defense features depth, serious athleticism

Gary collected 67 total tackles as a sophomore, 12 for a loss, including six sacks. His seven quarterback hurries led the team. McShay also notes his 17 tackles for loss in 26 career games at Michigan.

Gary's name already has appeared on several watch lists, most recently on Monday, when he was included for the Ted Hendricks Award, presented to the nation's top defensive end. He's also on watch lists for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation's top defensive player, and landed on the Big Ten's 10-player preseason honors list.

Also making McShay's list is Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat at No. 22. Sweat spent 2014 at Michigan State before transferring to Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College and, eventually, Mississippi State. He registered 10.5 sacks last season for the Bulldogs.

Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver tops McShay's preseason rankings.

 

 

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