2015 NFL Scouting Combine Watch List: Defensive Line (Part 1)

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Aug 30, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (90) in action against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Goldman, Florida State

Eddie Goldman is a unique prospect out of Florida State. Listed as 6’3″ or 6’4″ and about 320 pounds, he sounds like he would project as a nose tackle or, maybe, a large 3-4 end. You hear his height and weight and imagine a squatty shape, and maybe a big gut, massive strength, and slow feet. But what you have in Eddie Goldman is actually a versatile athlete who can fit a number of roles in 3-4 and 4-3 fronts and can be incredibly useful in nearly any situation, as JBB’s Carl Cockerham writes. For the Raiders, you have a player who can fit Antonio Smith’s role, as well as add some heft to Justin Tuck’s position as well.

Goldman, while not a necessarily fast player, has quick feet and good agility for a 320 pound man, in many ways reminiscent of ladies’ man Warren Sapp. Goldman does struggle with recognizing and defeating cut blocking, and at Florida State was not a dominant pass rusher despite his size and strength, though the Seminole’s defensive philosophy likely limited what he was able to do against the pass. Still he’s big, strong, quick and can push the pocket as well as shut down the run, and he could have a future in Silver and Black on a team coached by Jack Del Rio, who loves having big strong interior linemen on his defenses. Here are a few drills Del Rio may want to see Goldman perform well in:

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  • 1. 4-Bag COD Drill: this drill is the defensive lineman variant of the four-bag drill. A prospect has to demonstrate ability to move laterally while stepping over dummies, then backpedal and shoot back and forth between them before exploding downfield. While Goldman appears on tape to have good feet for a man his size, this will test his ability to get his legs up over obstacles on the ground – like an offensive lineman attempting a cut block – while also moving laterally, as well as his ability to use his feet to make quick direction changes. If Goldman shows good feet and good body position in this drill, then its likely his struggles against the cut block are more about recognition than physical ability and they could be coached out of him.

    2. Pass Rush Drill: this is a drill in which the prospect has to execute a rip technique against a standing heavy bag, then turn and make a quick 10-yard sprint. With one of the knocks on Goldman that he isn’t a great pass rusher, this will show that he has the proper technique to execute a basic rip move around an offensive lineman and then turn and burst toward a quarterback quickly. This type of move isn’t really something a nose tackle or a 4-3 2-tech tackle would need, but is crucial for anyone playing 3-tech or 5-tech in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 look. This will also help coaches decide if he’s the type of player that can plug into their scheme on every down, or just on certain packages and situations.

    3. Bench Press/Broad Jump: the two drills that measure the upper and lower body strength and explosiveness of a player, they are vitally important to any defensive line prospect but especially the massive Goldman, who will need upper body strength as well as lower-body explosiveness to defeat opponents in the trenches. This drill is a strong indicator of how quickly a prospect can have success at the next level: NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Aaron Donald had the strongest broad jump (116 inches) and the second-strongest bench press (35 reps) of anyone at the 2014 combine. The Chiefs’ Dontari Poe was also a standout in both events at his combine in 2012. If Goldman can do well, especially if he can get into the 100″/30 club (100″ broad jump, 30 bench reps), his draft stock will be greatly aided, especially if he can also grade well in the footwork measurables and position drills.

    Next: DL Prospect to Watch: Malcom Brown