For the second year in a row the Chicago Bears selected a defensive tackle in the second round of the NFL draft.
Most analysts considered Goldman a surefire first-round selection, so the Bears got great value landing him at 39th overall. At 6-4, 336, Goldman has the size and strength the club needs at nose guard in coordinator Vic Fangio’s 3-4 system.
To further our understanding of Goldman’s skill set as a run stopper, I analyzed game film of the 2014 Florida State season. Here’s what I found.
This snap is a gut run by Florida. The Gators attempt to block Goldman one-on-one with the left guard. The defenders keeps his pads low at the snap and drives his hands into the blocker’s chest. Goldman than extends his arms, creates separation and helps make the stop at the point of attack.
Florida again single blocks Goldman at the point of attack. After contact, he sinks his hips and extends his arms. Notice him looking into the backfield over the shoulder of the blocker.
As the running back cuts inside, Goldman works his way across the face of the blocker. As the ball carrier hits the hole, Goldman releases from the guard and makes the tackle with one arm.
This play will be a stretch run away from Goldman. He explodes into his blocker at the snap, which knocks the opposing lineman off balance. Goldman keeps his eyes in the backfield and reads the cutback by the running back.
Goldman quickly changes direction across the face of the blocker, leaving him with no one to block. As the ball carrier hits the hole, Goldman swallows him up, although he has to tackle him twice to get him down.
Here is the play the gives us a great idea of how Goldman will fit in Fangio’s 3-4. At the snap, he will be double-teamed. Notice how anchor with his lower body and is able to work his way to the inside shoulder of the center. This forces both the guard and the center to hold their block on him.
Because Goldman is able to eat up blockers, both of the inside linebacker go untouched. They are then able to drop the ball carrier in the backfield for a loss.
When you hear the term “space eater”, this is what people are referring to. If Goldman can line up at nose tackle for the Bears and consistently attack double teams in this fashion, Chicago’s run defense will be Top 10.
This is a goal-line snap against Louisville. Goldman is lined up across from the center. At the snap, he explodes into the blocker. The collision pops both players straight up, yet Goldman keeps moving his feet and is able to immediately shoot the gap.
This movement creates a large pile at the point of attack, which leaves the ball carrier no room to run.
Goldman doesn’t make the tackle hear but his ability to anchor and clog the interior hole gives his teammates the opportunity to drop the running back in the backfield.
Our last snap is a great example of Goldman’s quickness. At the snap, the opposing guard will lunge at Goldman, who deftly sidesteps the block and enters the backfield.
For a 330-plus nose tackle, this type of footwork and quickness is uncommon. When you combine it with his size and brute strength, it’s easy to see why the Bears were quick to select Goldman in Round 2.
Goldman plays like a grown man against the run. He coils from his four-point stance and can fire off the ball like a bullet. He also fights hard after contact, while showing good field vision and the ability to stack and shed.
He gives great effort against double teams and swallows up blockers when he keeps his feet underneath him. Goldman has a tendency to lose track of ball carrier against double teams but that’s fine, as he’s allowing linebackers the space they need to fill gaps.
Overall, Goldman is going to be a major boost to Chicago’s run defense, at both nose guard and 5-technique defense end. He’s powerful, versatile and tough, which is exactly the type of player the Bears needed to anchor the front seven.
If Goldman skill set transfers cleanly to the pro game, he’ll solidify the club’s run defense for many years.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fifth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.