From now until the 2018 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#99 Greg Gilmore/LSU NT or DT – 6’4” 308 lbs.
– Good upper body strength
– Nice tackler for a man his size
– Quick, short bursts of quickness
– Keeps focused on quarterback and will eventually wear blockers down
– Can occasionally occupy two blockers
– Usually plays head up on the center or on either A-Gap, but kicked out to B-Gap sometimes
– Was a 2018 NFL Combine snub
– Gets too high out of his stance, making him easier to block or just knock down
– Doesn’t pick up his feet, leans a lot
– Gets caught by surprise with misdirections
– Doesn’t have a lot of body flexibility
– Already 23 years old, will be 24 in November
– Played in the 2013 Under Armor All-American game as a high school senior, then redshirted his rookie season
– Ranked a 5 star prospect for Scout.com and a 4 star prospect for ESPN, 247Sports, and Rivals.com
– Former #1 prospect out of North Carolina his senior year of high school
– College career statistics: played in 43 games (starting 26), had 25 solo tackles, 79 assisted tackles, sacked the quarterback 10 times (7.5 of them came in 2017), and intercepted 2 passes (one in 2016 and the other 2017)
At the snap, the defender gets hit immediately by the center and as the left guard comes to seal him off, #99 falls down. This opens up the hole the Razorbacks were trying to run through and allows a 20+ yard gain on a second and 9 play. Gilmore will need better balance and quickness, if he wants to play at the next level.
#99 lines up shading the right side of the center’s helmet. The defender gets out of his stance high, but gets his arms fully extended keeping the blocker away from his body. Gilmore reads the runner’s path and starts sliding down the line with the center, dancing away. The nose tackle slides off the lineman’s block and squares himself in the hole to make the tackle. His short bursts of quickness and patience were big factors on this play.
Lined up in the A-Gap, Gilmore gets across the line of scrimmage quickly, but overextends himself against the left guard. The defender dips outside away from the center, only to get picked up by the running back and the left guard for the double team. #99 manages to swat at the quarterback as he is releasing the ball to no avail as the pass got completed. His pursuit to the signal caller was great, but needed to have more urgency getting there.
With the BYU offense lined up in the shotgun formation, #99 explodes off the snap, swimming past the center with a clear path to the signal caller. The defender appears to slow down for split second before smashing the quarterback. Had Gilmore gotten there without hesitation, he might have had a sack or strip sack. Unfortunately the former Tiger didn’t and BYU got the ball to their 30 yard line instead.
Gilmore shows good upper body strength, athleticism, and nice tackling technique. His problems include inconsistency getting off blocks, keeping his balance, and not developing strong pass rushing moves. This is why #99 should be available late in the draft or right after the draft as a free agent. Body flexibility is hard to improve in a man his size, so I’m not sure if he is worth a draft pick to the Steelers. I would welcome him to try his wares as a free agent.
Projection: Day Three or Free Agent
Games Watched: vs. Arkansas, vs. Notre Dame, @ Ole Miss, vs. BYU