What does Eddie Goldman bring to Bears' 3-4?

We break down what second-round defensive tackle Eddie Goldman brings to the Chicago Bears' new-look 3-4 defense.

With the 39th pick in the second round, the Chicago Bears selected nose tackle Eddie Goldman. At 6-4, and 336 pounds, the former Florida State product is your prototypical run stopping nose tackle with high upside and a first-round grade. Before college, Goldman played some high school basketball and also boxed.

When asked if he’s a basketball player, his response is revealing: “No. Not quite a basketball player. I played basketball my senior year of high school and that’s about it. Before football I was a boxer, actually. I started playing football when I was in 8th grade. I had to transition from boxing to football. So I wasn’t much of a basketball player.”

Goldman provides good size but has the agility of a three-technique while compiling eight tackles-for-loss and four sacks. With new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio running a 3-4 two-gap base front, Goldman will provide a big bodied run-stuffer and should share time with either Ego Ferguson or Jeremiah Ratliff his rookie year.

Strengths

- Good blend of mammoth size and three-technique like agility.
- Quick off the snap.
- Good hand movement and overall upper-body strength.
- Enough size and ability to play multiple positions on the defensive line.
- Good balance: Does not get pushed back often.
- Good bull-rush and just scratching overall potential.

Weaknesses

- One year starter.
- Lack of pass rushing moves and productivity. When asked about it, Goldman is ready to prove people wrong saying “Yes sir. Yes sir. All aspects of my game can use improvement but pass-rush is something that scouts knocked me for. But I think I can pass-rush with the best of them. We’ll just have to wait and see because I’m going to prove everybody wrong.”
- Does not consistently get hands up against the pass.

Overall Summary

Goldman only started his final year with the Seminoles and is still raw. With his size and scheme versatility, he should be a valuable member of a defensive unit that has and will continue to see a complete overhaul. With a lack of initial pass-rush moves, Goldman may not be a three-down player in his first year. While he may take some time to develop into a complete player, Goldman’s floor should be a serviceable starter and a long career. Goldman should be classified as a “safe” pick.

Pro Comparison: Randy Starks

Why take Goldman over other needs?

It became very evident early in the offseason with the pursuit of Terrance Knighton and serious draft interest in Danny Shelton that Pace was going to attack nose tackle. The saying “it all starts up front” remains true with this pick. The value of a top nose tackle seemed to be more than a highly graded offensive lineman, defensive back or linebacker.

What does this move mean for Ferguson and/or Ratliff?

Pace’s interest in upgrading the position telegraphs that he doesn’t feel comfortable with ether player starting at nose tackle. Both players have the ability to play 5-tech or simply rotate throughout the line to keep players fresh while learning a new system.

A Few Takeaways from The Press Conference:

- The Bears and Goldman did not meet pre-draft: “They didn’t come visit me. I didn’t go visit them. Honestly, I visited so many teams at the combine I can’t really tell you if I visited with them or not. But I didn’t have a lot of contact with them. But I definitely talked to some representatives and some scouts from the Bears. I wasn’t in heavy contact with anyone.”

- Goldman’s reaction to Dick Butkus’ “I like this” comment: “Yes, yes, that was, you know he's a linebacker, my dad talked about him a lot, he was one of my dad's favorite players because my dad likes those gritty type of guys. But him saying that it was kind of small, but coming from him it was great because he was an NFL legend and yes I was watching the coverage.”

- Where does Goldman think he fits?: “Honestly, I think I can play anywhere on the line in the NFL. I’ve played all positions and I feel comfortable at all of them so it really doesn’t matter.”

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Aaron Leming has years of salary cap knowledge and has written for Rant Sports, Bears Draft On Tap, and Cover 32. He is a regular contributor to Bear Report.

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