Adam Gotsis, DE
College: Georgia Tech
Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 287 Age: 23
40-yard: 4.88 Bench: 23 (225 lbs)
When a player catches the eye of two superb front offices like that of the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos, it can speak volumes. When the Cardinals ultimately spent their first-round pick on Robert Nkemdiche, it opened the door for the Broncos to take the player in question, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive lineman Adam Gotsis.
To put it bluntly, Gotsis's biggest strength is his strength. It nearly defies logic when you look at his slim figure and realize that he carries nearly 300 pounds on his frame. And to go along with his broad shoulders, Gotsis has 34-inch arms and massive hands. The man is a physical specimen.
With all of that in mind, it stands to reason why defensive line coach Bill Kollar lobbied as hard as he did for Gotsis. He possesses all of the physical characteristics of a dominant 3-4 defensive end. As someone who has coached Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, and J.J. Watt, it's a badge of honor for Gotsis that Coach Kollar would single him out in a deep draft for defensive linemen.
As a native of Australia, Gotsis played Australian-rules football until he eventually caught on with an American football club called the Monash Warriors. After playing with the Australian national team, he caught the eye of Georgia Tech scouts and decided to play football in the Northern Hemisphere.
When he finally hit the field against ACC competition, he improved quickly, racking up 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks during his first year as a starter.
Most of Gotsis's production came as a result of his raw power and high motor, two qualities that, when put together, often result in absolute devastation up front.
(1:28) Gotsis is matched up with the right guard as Georgia Tech rushes four. When the right guard gets too far out in front and extends his left arm, Gotsis uses a rip move to blow through him, briefly being held in the process. A good move by Everett Golson causes Gotsis to miss the sack, but instead of losing his balance or giving up, he keeps charging. He takes the quickest path back to Golson, and is able to use his wingspan to his advantage and pull down the quarterback before he can make a break for it. A great motor always pays off in the long run.
(2:00) Gotsis is shaded to the inside of the Florida State left guard. Georgia Tech rushes just four, so the center slides left and, along with the left guard, double teams Gotsis. Somehow, Gotsis splits the double team and gets pressure on Golson, who eventually delivers a great ball. He does this by steadily keeping his feet churning toward the pocket while leaning his upper body in between both offensive linemen. It takes a monster to cut through a double team, and Gotsis has that ability.
There's no doubt that the tools are there. It just becomes a matter of developing them.
When Gotsis struggles, it's typically the result of a technical breakdown. He always explodes at the line of scrimmage, but he sometimes stands up rather than fires out and ends up on the wrong end of the leverage battle. He also doesn't have a very diverse set of moves. After the bull rush and the aforementioned rip move, Gotsis's menu becomes fairly limited. This suggests it might take a year or two of tutelage under Kollar and company until he can become a consistent difference maker.
The other primary concern is Gotsis's health. His senior year was cut short when he suffered a torn ACL on Halloween of 2015, an injury that still lingers heading into training camp. Odell Beckham Jr. aside, rookies who enter camp injured don't have a great track record in their first season, another indication that Gotsis may not catch on right away.
As a second-round pick, it goes without saying that Gotsis has a spot on the 53-man roster. The only question is of his ability to make an impact in year one. In 2016, it appears likely that the battle for starting defensive end next to Sylvester Williams and Derek Wolfe will likely be between Vance Walker and Jared Crick.
The Broncos would be best suited to slowly ease Gotsis into the rotation almost like we saw with Shane Ray at linebacker last year. Despite his high selection, he still remains somewhat of a project (in the best sense of the word).
If the investment ultimately pays off and Adam Gotsis provides returns in the form of sacks and tackles for loss, there's a good chance no one will ever question Bill Kollar again.
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Will Keys is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.