GENERAL REPORT/GRADE: 6.28
Gilbert has a big build, with a solid midsection, wide waist and hips, broad shoulders, big bubble, muscular calves and thick thighs. He does have good speed, but he needs to get better stamina, as he runs out of gas late in games. If he is to be utilized as a defensive end, he might be better served losing about ten pounds, so he can generate better change of direction agility. If he is to perform as a defensive tackle, his frame might be better suited to add bulk than drop it.
Gilbert has the balance and agility to shoot the gaps and make plays in the backfield, showing good lateral pursuit ability. He is a strong wrap-up tackler who is still working on developing better hand usage, but he compensates with excellent playing strength. He is an athletic in-line pass rusher who plays a variety of positions. He will generally line up as a left defensive tackle, but has seen action at both end positions. He can even stand up and come off the edge at times when asked to blitz. He is also used to cover the running back in the second level, but lacks the foot speed to be effective doing that. When he is used as a drop end, he shows good awareness. He can make plays working down the line, but lacks overall hand usage…GRADE: 7.2
Gilbert picks things up quickly, evident by his ability to play any position on the front wall. He has decent instincts, but needs to play with better consistency, as he will disappear for stretches. He appears to have the ability to read and react to the play in front of him. He shows strength in his anchor vs. double teams, but there are stretches in games where his face should be plastered on a milk carton. He picks things up quickly in practice and then performs them well in the game…GRADE: 6.1
His coaches call him a good person with no off-field issues. He is a good team leader, vocal and always has a pleasant attitude. His father, Daren Gilbert, was a star player for Cal State Fullerton and offensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints (1985-88)…GRADE: 6.3
It is not as if Gilbert is not competitive, as he does show good urgency closing when he locates the ball, but his motor runs hot and cold. Perhaps due to stamina issues, he does disappear for stretches. When the "light goes on" upstairs, he can completely dominate a game, but he really never put it all together until the second half of his senior season. He needs to show more consistency, as he does get washed out when he leaves his chest exposed (usually happens when he tires late in games) and does tend to play at a high pad level, needing to do a better job of sinking his pads…GRADE: 6.0
Gilbert is compliant, listens well and takes to hard coaching. He was the defensive captain as a senior, but still needs to develop more maturity, both physically (stamina issues) and mentally (disappears for stretches)…GRADE: 5.8
ATHLETIC REPORT/GRADE: 6.52
Gilbert has adequate explosion off the line of scrimmage to cause trouble in the backfield, but can be inconsistent. He flashes good quickness working in-line and has enough strength to win the battle at the point of attack. Offensive tackles generally have their work cut out for them, as Gilbert can be explosive when he stays low in his pads, but late in games, he seems to have stamina issues. Even when he plays at full speed, he might lack the suddenness to play on the edge. He does a much better job of getting to the quarterback shooting the gaps than when having to loop around the corner…GRADE: 5.7
Strength at Point
At his primary position, defensive tackle, Gilbert might lack ideal bulk, but he has a developing frame to add the necessary pounds to play inside. He has those outstanding, long arms and the strength to control his side of the football, can hold ground at the point of attack and clog rush lanes, when he does not play high in his stance. He shows good ability to stymie double teams, with a strong base to anchor. When he gets too high in his stance, he will yield ground, though. He will generally play with leverage, but he gets frustrated when his initial move fails (will give up and get absorbed by the offensive tackles). When he recovers off blocks, he can be very disruptive…GRADE: 7.5
Use of Hands
While Gilbert has good hand strength, he sometimes fails to recoil and reset quickly, causing him to get tied up too long. He is best when using his hands to contain rather than shed. He leaves himself exposed quite a bit, giving up body surface coming off the snap. His best hand move is his swim move to slip past blocks on the pass rush. He has also been quite successful using his wingspan to break up passes at the line of scrimmage… GRADE: 6.3
Gilbert has the ability to slide down the line and make plays at the Xs. He has the balance and change of direction agility to work back to the cutback lanes, but is better playing between the tackles that trying to get out and make plays along the sidelines. He shows good lateral movement down the line of scrimmage and is effective chasing from the backside. He was inconsistent in this area for most of his career, but showed great improvement the second half of the 2008 campaign (see New Mexico State, Boise State, Idaho and Louisiana Tech games). His problem arises late in games when he has his usual shutdown of his motor…GRADE: 6.3
Gilbert is a strong tackler delivers a solid block to blockers with his hand swipes. He is an effective short area hitter who delivers a punishing blow and shows power making the wrap-up tackle. When he hits a ball carrier or quarterback, he does it with force and you can hear the impact…GRADE: 6.8
Gilbert needs to use his hand punch more often and must do a better job of keeping those hands inside his frame. He has the upper body strength to impact a ball carrier with a good thud. He will drop his hands quite a bit, which lets blockers get into his chest. This is an area that I feel will see him be a better fit at tackle in a 4-3 defense or align outside as an end in a 3-4 formation. He plays at a high pad level, using his strength effectively to push the blockers back through the rush lanes. He has the short area burst to string plays wide. When he stays at a good pad level, it makes it very difficult for defenders to move him off his anchor. On 41 running plays in 2008, he allowed only 39 yards and just four first downs in 2008…GRADE: 7.2
Gilbert is not a consistent pass rusher, but during his senior year, he finally started using his hands better, developing better bull rush skills. Like Richard Seymour (New England) and John Henderson (Jacksonville), he might be better served as a tackle, as he does a good job of working on the offensive guard's edge. He has that short burst needed to penetrate, but until the second half of the 2008 season, it was too inconsistent. The light might be finally coming on here…GRADE: 6.6
Closing on the QB
In the short area (shooting the gaps at tackle), Gilbert has a good burst to close and can accelerate in the backfield, but usually does this best vs. a stationary blocker. He does not have the suddenness or blazing speed to take a wide loop coming off the edge and still seal the deal on the QB, making him a better fit inside than at end. What he excels at is getting his big body in the passer's face and using his reach, wing span and leaping ability to deflect quite a few passes at the liner of scrimmage…GRADE: 6.4
Gilbert is very athletic, using his size and speed to close down the backside with the strength to control. He is not the type that can explode off the edge and get into backfield to push the pocket as an end, but lining up inside, he plays with better leverage. He has the ability to locate the ball once he gets free from his initial blocker. He is better at the line of scrimmage than when on the move in attempts to locate the ball. He wins the initial battles, but sometimes will shut down when his first move fails…GRADE: 6.3
Compares to ...
TY WARREN-New England…I see Gilbert more as a 3-4 defensive end rather than an edge rusher in a 4-3 alignment. He seems more comfortable shooting the gaps to get to the quarterback rather than trying to loop around the edge. If taken by a 4-3 defense, he will be better off playing inside. He has a lot of potential and a rare sized frame with an excellent wingspan, but it took more than three seasons for him to start to produce. It could have been due to him settling in at defensive tackle in 2008.
OVERALL GRADE: 6.52
Gilbert played in 48 games at San Jose State, starting 14 times at right defensive end, 12 times at left defensive tackle, 10 times at left defensive end and twice at right defensive tackle…Recorded 144 tackles (87 solos) with seven quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles and fifteen pass deflections…His 22.5 sacks for minus 142 yards fifth on the Western Athletic Conference career-record list behind Jorge Cordova of Nevada (31.0, 2000-03), Brandon Green of Rice (25.0, 1999-2002), Travis LaBoy of Hawaii (24.0, 2001-03) and Garrett McIntyre of Fresno State (23.5, 2002-05)…His 9.5 sacks in 2008 tied Melila Purcell of Hawaii (2006) and J.J. Milan of Nevada (2006) for tenth on the WAC's season-record chart…Gilbert registered 42.0 stops for losses of 207 yards, breaking the old school career-record of 40.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage by Lyneil Mayo (1989-90) and rank tied with Nick Burley of Fresno State (1999-2002), Sam Rayburn of Tulsa (1999-2002) and Derek Kennard of Nevada (2000-03) for sixth on the conference all-time record chart…His 22.0 tackles for loss in 2008 tied Travis LaBoy of Hawaii (2003) for the WAC season-record.
All-American first-team and Super Sleeper Team selection by The NFL Draft Report…
All-Western Athletic Conference first-team choice and named the league's co-Defensive Player of the Year…The team captain was also named the Spartans' Most Valuable Player…Started at his fourth different position during his SJSU career, taking over left defensive tackle duties…Recorded a career-high 52 tackles (36 solos), as he led the team, ranked second in the WAC and finished tied for 19th in the nation with 9.5 sacks for minus 74 yards…Led the NCAA and tied the conference season-record with 22.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage for losses totaling 116 yards…Added five quarterback pressures, as he caused two fumbles and deflected three passes…Made 41 of his plays vs. the running game, holding the opposition to 39 yards (0.95 ypc) with no touchdowns and just four first downs, as he stopped ball carriers for no gain on eight attempts, in addition to making 22 tackles behind the line of scrimmage…Registered ten of his stops on third-down plays and one more on fourth down, as he also produced seven stops for loss inside the red zone.
2008 GAME ANALYSIS
Cal-Davis: Gilbert opened the season by making all four of his stops on running plays, including one that took down tailback Joe Trombetta for a 2-yard loss on the first series of the second half…Head to Head Competition-OG#78-Jonathan Compas (6:03-298).
Nebraska: Gilbert made just one tackle, but leveled tailback Marlon Lucky for a 2-yard loss on a run off right end in the second stanza…Head to Head Competition-OG#70-Matt Slauson (6:05-305).
San Diego State: The defensive tackle posted four tackles (3 solos)…He broke up a Ryan Lindley pass attempt at the Spartans' 25 and sacked the QB for a 1-yard loss with 1:48 left in the first half…Head to Head Competition-OG#67-Ikaika Aken-Moleta (6:02-313).
Stanford: The team captain delivered four solo tackles with a pressure, as he also made three stops behind the line of scrimmage, taking down Toby Gerhart for a 3-yard loss in the third quarter and flattened tailback Anthony Kimble for minus 4 yards on a rushing attempt around left end in the final quarter…Head to Head Competition-OG#71-Andre Phillips (6:05-298).
Hawaii: Five games into the season, an opponent finally registered a first down rushing attempt vs. Gilbert, who made four solo tackles…With 1:45 left in the game, he sacked QB Tyler Graunke for a 4-yard loss at the Hawaii 10…Head to Head Competition-OG#51-Lafu Tuioti-Mariner (6:00-289).
New Mexico State: Gilbert produced six tackles (4 solos), two sacks, 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pressure…He took down Chase Holbrook for a 2-yard loss on a first quarter bootleg…After the left tackle was flagged for a face mask penalty on a 5-yard sack of Holbrook midway through the second quarter, he made up for that miscue two plays later by sacking the Aggies' QB for a 12-yard loss…He also killed a fourth quarter series when he pressured Holbrook into throwing a third-&-7 incomplete passes, leading to a NMSU punt…Head to Head Competition-OG#65-Polo Gutierrez (6:02-304).
Boise State: Gilbert began the game in explosive fashion, sacking QB Kellen Moore for a 6-yard loss on the game's first play from scrimmage…He went on to deliver a season-high nine tackles (5 solos), two pressures and four stops for losses of 21 yards…Twice he took down BSU ball carriers for no gain and leveled tailback Ian Johnson for a 7-yard loss on a third-&-1 snap late in the first quarter…Moore fumbled the ball after Gilbert stripped it from him on a third quarter 14-yard sack…Head to Head Competition-OG#76-Jon Gott (6:03-286).
Idaho: Gilbert followed with four tackles (3 solos), including a 13-yard sack of QB Nathan Enderle early in the third quarter…Head to Head Competition-OG#65-Kris Anderson (6:03-299).
Louisiana Tech: The team captain posted five tackles (4 solos) with a pair of sacks and four stops behind the line of scrimmage…His first tackle took down Philip Livas for a 5-yard loss, followed by a 6-yard sack of QB Ross Jenkins in the second quarter…He ended the first half with a 6-yard sack of Jenkins, causing a fumble that Tech recovered with 1:42 left in the second stanza…Head to Head Competition-OG#79-Kris Cavitt (6:03-320).
Nevada: Gilbert followed with another five tackles (4 solos), making two stops for losses of 8 yards…Kept Nevada out of the end zone in the first quarter when he collided with Vai Taua on a second-&-goal run for a 3-yard loss…Also stopped Taua for a 5-yard loss on a run at the Nevada 36…Head to Head Competition-OG#65-Brad Eskew (6:03-299).
Fresno State: Gilbert closed out his career with five tackles (3 solos), as he assisted on an 8-yard sack of QB Tom Brandstater with 1:51 left in the first half…Head to Head Competition-OG#69-Andrew Jackson (6:05-263).
Earned All-Western Athletic Conference second-team honors…Was the only Spartan down lineman to start every game, appearing in ten contests at right defensive end and vs. both Hawaii and New Mexico State at right tackle…Recorded 38 tackles (23 solos) with four sacks for minus 21 yards and 7.5 stops for losses of 36 yards…Caused one fumble and deflected four passes.
2007 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Gilbert opened the season by sacking QB Rudy Carpenter for a 4-yard loss vs. Arizona State…Added six solo tackles vs. Utah State, which was the most stops by a Spartan down lineman in a game in four seasons…Sacked QB Colt Brennan for a 4-yard loss, causing a fumble, as he delivered three stops behind the line of scrimmage and seven tackles (5 solos) vs. Hawaii…Broke up a pass, made three tackles and sacked QB Chase Holbrook twice for losses of 13 yards vs. New Mexico State…Ended the season with six tackles, including one for a 3-yard loss vs. Nevada.
Gilbert shifted to left defensive end, starting ten of thirteen games…Recorded 32 tackles (14 solos) with 7.5 stops for losses of 31 yards and two quarterback pressures…Led the team with five sacks for minus 27 yards and his six pass deflections were the most by a Western Athletic Conference down lineman in 2006.
2006 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Had five assisted tackles vs. Utah State and four hits with a stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. Nevada…Added five solo tackles with a pair of sacks for minus 11 yards, three stops for losses and two pass deflections vs. Louisiana Tech…Sacked QB Chase Holbrook for a 5-yard loss vs. New Mexico State and had a 7-yard sack to go with four tackles (2 solos) vs. New Mexico in the season finale.
Played in eleven games, starting four contests at right defensive end…Posted 22 tackles (14 solos), three sacks and five stops for losses of 24 yards…Deflected two passes.
2005 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Made his collegiate debut by producing 1.5 sacks for minus 11 yards and five tackles (2 solos) vs. Eastern Washington…Had four hits (3 solos), as he assisted on a sack and added another tackle behind the line of scrimmage vs. Nevada…Registered a season-high five solo tackles vs. Utah State…Broke up two passes and was in on a pair of stops vs. New Mexico State.
Red-shirted as a 240-pound defensive end.
No major injuries reported.
COMBINE AGILITY TESTS
4.81 in the 40-yard dash…1.69 10-yard dash…2.70 20-yard dash…4.58 20-yard shuttle…
7.73 three-cone drill…35.5-inch vertical jump…9'11" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times…35 5/8-inch arm length…10 ¼-inch hands.
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
4.76 in the 40-yard dash…4.40 20-yard shuttle…7.59 three-cone drill…37-inch vertical jump…10'7" broad jump.
Attended Chino (Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach John Monger…Lettered in football, basketball and track and field…The two-way lineman earned All-Sierra League honors on the gridiron…As a forward, he was also an All-League choice for the basketball squad…Handled the weight for the track squad.
Business Marketing major…Father, Daren, was an offensive tackle at Cal State Fullerton and played in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints (1985-88)…Born 9/30/86 in New Orleans, Louisiana…Resides in Chino, California.
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Featured on countless radio and television shows since the age of 14, Dave-Te' Thomas is also an accomplished sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for most of the teams in the NFL.