A physical specimen and anchor of one of the top defensive lines in the nation, Eddie Goldman leaves Tallahassee with a plan to bring the pain in the NFL. One of the elite DT prospects in the Class of 2012 from Washington D.C., Goldman was an Under Armour All-American who helped the Noles capture the ACC crown in his freshman season.
His sporadic time on the field increased his sophomore campaign starting 13 games for the national champions. Goldman was an important asset on the D-Line for the Noles in 2013, but the domination he was capable of came into focus his final year at Tallahassee.
The production vaulted tremendously as the big man finished with career highs in tackles (35), tackles for loss (8), and sacks (4). Goldman's rise to one of the top interior lineman in the country garnered accolades such as All-ACC and an All-American as a junior. He was ready to make the jump and bypass his senior year.
The first offseason evaluation of Goldman came almost three months after FSU's loss to Oregon at Pro Day. After deciding not to perform drills at the Combine, working out for NFL scouts in a controlled environment cemented Goldman's stock as a 1st round talent.
According to Gil Brandt of nfl.com, Goldman ran the 40-yard dash in just 5.27 seconds and had a 20-yard short shuttle time of 4.87 seconds. At 336 pounds, that athleticism stands out among versatile D-Lineman in the 2015 draft class.
Athleticism is what will fuel Goldman's production in the NFL. On the interior, Goldman bursts with explosiveness off the snap through the O-Line. His go-to swim move allows the big man to evade potential blockers and make plays in the backfield. Goldman makes less athletic and raw offensive lineman look foolish, using both explosion and quick hands to fight off hand checks.
While his mobility in the trenches isn't elite, Goldman's recovery ability is rare for a DT. Once engaged in a block, he can fight his way off and wrap up tailbacks looking to find holes. Goldman consistently churns his legs in a bull rush to garner a substantial push as his upper half isn't as powerful.
His versatile build, combining a huge frame with quality mobility, allows for the former Nole to handle multiple positions at the next level. Odell Haggins, in an article from FoxSports.com, explains the plethora of slots Goldman can offer to teams in the NFL:
"Eddie can play the 3-technique, the nose guard of the 5-technique. Sometimes we'd put Eddie on the 5 and rush that big sucker off the edge. He has the speed to power and knock the tackle out of his shoes," said Haggins. "He's very versatile where he can play three positions up front. He can play one-gap, two-gap, he can do it all."
Along with versatility, the big man brings an emerging skill set. His junior season provided a glimpse of what he's capable of as a disruptor in either a 4-3 formation, that he played in at FSU, or 3-4 at the next level.
Goldman lacks the ideal build you see in top end defensive tackles. He's heavily upper body in pass rush and despite his lower half driving to the QB, lacks strength in his shoulders to consistently get past O-Lineman. He'll tend to get caught up in fist fights against athletic lineman who can match his mobility.
While the motor is on at the snap for Goldman, he tends to lose it as the play progresses. Whether it be lack of stamina or desire, he becomes a non-factor unless he it turns back on chasing down a QB. Goldman also isn't a three down lineman and sometimes takes off an early down to get him back into a passing situation.
The volatile play also results in Goldman being pushed far off the line of scrimmage on some plays as his man easily seals him off. As one of the top defensive tackle prospects in the 2015 draft, consistency will elevate Goldman's stock as a pro, but has to convince teams that draft him to believe his motor is nonstop.
Goldman is an athletic big man built on size, quickness and fluid mobility. While his tendency to shut down on plays presents a red flag to some teams, the big man is still drawing legitimate interest.
Cleveland, Indianapolis, and New England, among others, worked out Goldman in the offseason. An interesting caveat is that Cleveland and New England run a 3-4 defense and could have Goldman play as a 3-technique or 5-technique in their scheme after playing in a 4-3 look at FSU.
A pro player comparison would be Michael Brockers of the St. Louis Rams. Both rely on athleticism and mobility to make plays, vaulted their stock in their last year of college, and can be featured in various formations and assignments on the D-Line.
Overall, Goldman should be a day one talent in the 2015 NFL Draft and will give teams a disruptive athlete who needs a prominent coach to get the most out of him. The ability is evident, but the desire and seasoning of his game could have Goldman as a potential force his rookie year.