Six former Wolverines earned invitations to the upcoming NFL Combine.
Some local NFL combine invites:— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 7, 2019
Michigan (6): Rashan Gary, Devin
Bush, Chase Winovich, David Long, Karan Higdon, Zach Gentry
MSU (4): Justin Layne, Khari Willis, LJ Scott, Felton Davis
CMU (2): Sean Bunting, Xavier Crawford
EMU (1): Maxx Crosby
Ferris (1): Devon Johnson
Two graduated seniors in Chase Winovich and Karan Higdon are joined by early departures in Rashan Gary, Devin Bush, David Long and Zach Gentry.
Gary and Bush are projected to go in the first round, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay. Gary would head to the New York Jets, and Bush to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Gary has good size,” McShary writes of the 6-foot-5, 283-pounder, “and athleticism with an explosive closing burst.
He sees Bush infusing youth and talent in Pittsburgh’s front seven.
“There’s a void in the Steelers’ linebacker corps without Ryan Shazier,” McShay writes. “Bush, an athletic every-down backer, has the instincts to play Shazier’s middle linebacker spot.”
Scouts will be working to get a read on Winovich’s health. The former defensive end played through an injury that required surgery that forced him to miss the Senior Bowl.
“(The medical staff) said you need surgery,” Winovich said during his Peach Bowl media availability. “What do you want to do? You can get it now or try to put it off until after the combines. I knew I had to work out in the combine because it’s important for a lot of reasons to display some of my skills.”
McShay sees him as an outside linebacker at the next level.
“Teams are going to find starters on Day 2,” McShay writes. “I love the tape on Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich, for one. He’s athletic, quick and tough as hell.”
Higdon became the first running back at Michigan to rush for 1,000 yards since 2011. He struggled at the Senior Bowl, and needs a productive combine to raise his stock.
Long shut down receivers in his two years as a starter, so much so that quarterbacks stopped throwing his way.
Michigan CB David Long continues to lead the nation's cornerbacks in terms of fewest yards allowed per snap in coverage this year pic.twitter.com/NpaoU5iN1s— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 20, 2018
He only notched three interceptions in his three-year career. Scouts will be looking for his physical numbers to back up his on-field dominance.
Gentry presents a large target over the middle at 6-foot-8, and he is coming off his most productive season as a Wolverine. He snared 32 receptions for 514 yards and two touchdowns.
The combine will take place from Feb. 26 to March 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.