NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected defensive end Rashan Gary out of Michigan.
"When I got the call, I was surprised and excited," said Gary via phone.
Instead of being at the draft in Nashville, Gary chose to be with his family at Revel & Roll, a bowling alley in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He wanted to be surrounded by the people he loved when he got the news. It was an emotional experience for him, as tears streamed down his cheeks.
"Number one, it comes from my love for the game," said Gary. "I can't wait to start playing and get to work."
Gary was the number one high school recruit going into college. At Michigan, he was a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection in 2017 and 2018. He appeared in 35 career games with 22 starts at defensive end. He recorded 135 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 10 sacks during his career. The 6-foot-4, 277-pounder clocked a 4.58-second time in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine.
"He's a guy of speed and versatility," said Green Bay Packers Midwest college scout Joe Hueber. "He's a guy who plays hard."
Not only are the Packers excited about what he'll bring to the field, but also the energy he'll bring to the locker room.
“His football character was something really attractive to us," said Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst.
"He's a bright, outgoing kid," said Hueber. "We interviewed him in Indianapolis and he was great. Big smile, excited, so hopefully he brings that to the room."
Gary said it was a blessing to be a first round pick.
"To be honest, I'm just happy to be a Green Bay Packer," said Gary. "I can't wait to get to work."
The number 12 pick added he's excited to meet the Packers' number 12.
"He's a great quarterback," said Gary. "I can't wait to pick his head and talk to him."
Gary also mentioned he has an injured right shoulder, but he did not seem too concerned about it.
"My shoulder's good," said Gary. "I have a torn labrum. I just can't wait to strap on the pads and get to work."
As far as surgery goes, Gary said he doesn't think surgery is needed. Gutekunst said he does not see an initial need for it, but they'll see how it goes.
For information on Packers' No. 21 overall pick Darnell Savage, click here.