Winning the Super Bowl is the greatest accomplishment in football and teams that achieve these heights live on forever, but the truth is the actual rosters never stay the same for the league champs. Many players make the decision that they'll make a ton of money in free agency and they move on, which is all fine and well for the player, but it puts the team in a tough position because they are forced to find replacements in a shortened offseason. All three levels of the defense need major help, so it makes sense to start up front. 6'4, 336 pound defensive tackle Eddie Goldman of Florida State would fill the two-gapping, run-stopping hole that was left by future Patriots Hall of Famer Vince Wilfork.
Goldman starred at Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy from 2008 to 2011. Goldman exploded his senior year, making 38 solo tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, and five forced fumbles. Goldman was ranked number 10 in the ESPNU Top 150 and was also rated as the top defensive tackle overall. Scout.com rated him as the number four defensive tackle in the country and top player in the DC area. Goldman also collected many accolades at Friendship Collegiate, being named a 2012 Parade All-American and Sports Illustrated 2011 First Team All-American. Goldman also excelled on the offensive line, but he was always pegged as a defensive lineman at the next level. In his junior year, Goldman finished with 40 tackles, six sacks, one interception, and one fumble recovery. Goldman had no shortage of big time suitors, choosing Florida State over historic programs Alabama and Auburn. When FSU, Alabama, and Auburn are the top three schools recruiting a player, it is clear the player is for real.
Goldman wasn't redshirted and he appeared in eight games as a true freshman. Goldman finished with four solo tackles, four assisted tackles, and one tackle for loss. His best game came against Georgia Tech in the ACC Title Game; Goldman finished with 3 solo tackles and one tackle for loss. As a sophomore, Goldman earned the starting defensive end spot, making eight solo tackles, 11 assisted tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks. Goldman had his best game of the season at the expense of the Boston College Eagles, compiling four tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and he also picked up his first career sack.
Goldman entered his junior year in 2014 as a National Champion and a player ready to take the next step; he didn't disappoint. Goldman started all 14 games, compiling 19 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, one pass defended, and one forced fumble. Although some people would look at Goldman' overall stats as disappointment, scouts didn't agree and pegged the blue chip tackle as a possible NFL star.
The Patriots have issues that Goldman could possibly cure, but his stock is rising as we get closer to the draft. If the Patriots get lucky and Goldman slips to 32, it's a good bet New England drafts him to man the defensive tackle spot for the next decade.