NFL Draft Scouting Report: Eddie Goldman

A look at former FSU defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and how he projects at the next level.

Let’s just get this out of the way first: Eddie Goldman is a gigantic human being. He carries nearly 340 pounds extremely well, moving as smoothly and athletically as one could imagine from someone of that size. But like his teammate Mario Edwards, Jr., Goldman’s motor was inconsistent in college (particularly in 2014), and he often gave the impression that he was coasting until it was absolutely necessary to make a play.

That said, few FSU players made as many crucial splash plays in 2014 as Goldman, without whom the Seminoles would likely have lost at least two games. It was Goldman who forced the critical fumble to put the Clemson game into overtime, and Goldman was the one whose penetration blew up Clemson’s final fourth down attempt. When he was running on all cylinders, Goldman was as dominant as any defensive lineman in the country. Those moments just came too few and far between for an athlete of his caliber.

Teams will have to decide where he best fits in the pro game and whether he will have the requisite motivation to play at a consistently high level through a 17+ game NFL season. If the answer to those questions is affirmative, Goldman could be among the better defensive linemen in the league. But the problem is that those questions need to be asked at all.

Production

Goldman was a two-year starter at FSU after arriving as a top-15 overall prospect in the 2012 recruiting class. He was a secondary player next to nose tackle Timmy Jernigan in 2013 but played a key role in the Seminoles’ stout run defense in 2013, typically two-gapping from a hybrid DT/DE role in FSU’s multiple front defense. Goldman battled through lower leg injuries in 2014 and played more snaps than in 2013, when FSU had more depth on the defensive interior, but he also was heavier and showed signs of being in poor condition. His numbers were good but not spectacular in both seasons, reflective of a player whose best playing days may well be in front of him.

Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2012 DL 4 4 8 1.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 DL 13 8 11 19 3.0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2014 DL 14 19 16 35 8.0 4.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Career 31 31 62 12.0 6.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2015.

Scouting Report

Strengths

A naturally massive man who can overpower blockers at the point of attack. Violent hands. Holds up well against double teams. Scheme versatile and can have success in either a one-gap or two-gap scheme. Stays square when two-gapping and can collapse running lanes. Good bull rusher who can compress the pocket. Good length. Shows ability to explode off snap and make splash plays in big situations and on goal line.

Moves well and is a smooth athlete for his size, particularly on sophomore (2013) tape. Showed ability to play on edge of odd front in 2013. Can play either NT or 3-tech. Generally plays with good pad level and leverage and get hands into OLs’ frame. Can be a dominant player against the run when he wants to be.

Room for Improvement

Looked overweight and somewhat sluggish in 2014, particularly when comparing to 2013 film. Work ethic and motivation are questionable, particularly after coming into pro day in suboptimal shape. Inconsistent motor. The timing of his splash plays suggests he generally played well below his potential, choosing to flip the switch only when needed. Some in Tallahassee have the impression that he could have pushed harder through pain and injuries. Shows some stiffness in the lower half, particularly in his junior (2014) tape, and doesn’t move laterally as well as he does moving forward. Disruptive against the run, but does not shed blockers to make the tackle himself often enough.

Combine/Pro Day Results

Pro Day Results

Ht

Wt

Arm

HD

40y

20y

10y

Bench

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3Cone

6’4

336

33 1/8

10 1/8

5.27

19

26

4.87

7.62

Goldman’s pro day numbers were disappointing overall. The 5.27 forty didn’t hurt, and he showed reasonable athletic smoothness for his size on that run, but the bench and vertical numbers are both poor regardless of his size. (By comparison, Danny Shelton, who should be the first DT chosen, had 34 reps on the bench and a 30.5” vertical at 339.)

The low vertical leap confirms the stiffness in the legs and hips that appears on film and suggests limited burst. Goldman is a powerful athlete, but it is unlikely that he becomes a significant pass rush threat at that weight, given the overall lack of hip explosion shown in testing.

The low bench number is concerning (especially combined with the other numbers and the fact that Goldman doesn’t have unusually long arms for his height) because of what it suggests about Goldman’s work ethic. Prospects should be in the best shape of their lives coming into the Combine and pro day workouts, and Goldman looked a bit soft around the middle while on his way to pedestrian numbers. For a player whose motor and motivation is already somewhat in question, that could be seen as a red flag.

He was more impressive in the position drills component, though his difficulties throttling down and backpedaling further communicated some lower-body stiffness and lack of explosion. That said, he did show plus overall agility and power for the position, especially given his size, during drills.

His testing numbers do call into question his ability to play at the jumbo DE spot in an odd front, something his sophomore film in particular suggested he may have the capacity to do. If he is unable to slide outside with any effectiveness or provide a pass rush on the interior, that limits his value significantly.

Floor/Ceiling

Provided he stays in shape, Goldman could be a versatile and disruptive player in any defensive scheme. There’s little doubt that he could become a multiple Pro Bowl player.

On the flip side, he’s already 336 pounds and could easily eat himself into becoming a decent two-down run stuffer only suited for two-gap defensive schemes.

Overall

Overall, Goldman grades out as a late first-round prospect and rookie starter, but he has a mid-first round ceiling and could potentially be worth a reach in the first round for a team with a need for a run-stuffing defensive tackle with some scheme versatility. He will need to have significant fitness clauses in his contract, and he would probably be best at around 320–325 rather than 335 pounds at this point, particularly if a team envisions him at the 3-technique or even a jumbo DE in a 3-4 set.

Grade: 6.98 (Rookie starter).

Compares To

At his current weight of 335+, Marcell Dareus. At his more ideal weight of 320 pounds and in better shape, he’s capable of being a Randy Starks type player.

Overview and Draft Prediction

Range: Picks 15–40

Goldman’s stock is difficult to assess at this point, as the lukewarm reception of his pro day performance has not given him a great deal of momentum at this stage of the process. But some teams remain convinced that he could be a productive 3-down player, and one of those teams could potentially reach for him as early as the teens.

As with teammate Mario Edwards, Jr., Goldman’s contract will need to prominently feature fitness and weight clauses. Given significant enough monetary motivations to keep him in shape, he could be a better player than he was in 2014 (which was still very good), and teams know that.

At this time, I have Goldman being drafted in the final third of the first round, though it would not surprise me to see him go as early as the 19th pick to Cleveland. But I think it's more likely that he winds up being taken with the 23rd pick by Detroit or the 27th pick by Dallas.

\r\n

\r\n\r\n

See what Nole fans are saying here

\r\n