Prospect: William Gholston, DE, Michigan StateWilliam Gholston

Height: 6’6¼”

Weight: 281 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Adequate open field speed to pursue the ball for a man of his size
  • Plays with heavy feet that lack significant quickness or fluidity
  • Hips are relatively stiff, body lacks flexibility throughout
  • Narrow-based player who plays upright and struggles to stay balanced

Intelligence/Effort:

  • High motor and high energy player who doesn’t stop until the whistle
  • Slow play recognition ability with poor anticipation, relatively low football IQ
  • Did not develop his game as was expected from sophomore to junior season, maybe even took a step back
  • Was suspended as a sophomore for one game after an egregious sucker punch to an opponent after the play, lets emotions get the best of him occasionally

Pass Rush:

  • Completely unable to dip around the corner as a speed rusher due to stiff hips and lack of burst
  • Lacks any quickness in a lateral step off the snap which makes him a single direction rusher, easy for pass blockers to mirror and predictable
  • Dominant power rush when able to lower his pad level and drive his legs through contact, doesn’t consistently happen though
  • Entirely unable to transition from his power rush into other moves, non-existent combo rush ability
  • Gets hands up well to bat passes and was productive doing so

Run Support:

  • Strong anchor holds up against double teams while occupying blockers effectively
  • Struggles to shed and make plays down the line consistently, easily locked up
  • Skilled gap shooter from interior positions with strong upper body to ward off blockers
  • Pinches down inside runs from an outside position to close down holes very well
  • Very high impact tackler who utilizes size and power while wrapping ball carriers
  • Plays high in space with very infrequent feet and misses tackles failing to break down as a result

Technique:

  • Can extend well to create space but still stays locked on with blockers often, hasn’t developed ability to shed blocks at all
  • Continually improved his spin move, maintains contact to best make use of his strength
  • Vulnerable to cut blocks due to overly methodical footwork and delayed reaction skills
  • Plagued by a slow first step off the snap

Overall:

By all accounts, William Gholston failed to live up to any of the hype he was receiving before the start of his junior season.  He was unable to build on an impressive sophomore campaign in which he showed the natural strength and enough foot quickness to catch the eye of scouts.  He seemed to be much slower-footed as a junior and his technique had not developed any farther.  His tackle for loss and sack numbers dropped off slightly as well.  That doesn’t mean he’s an undraftable player though.  Gholston continued to fill out his frame and became too big for the edge, but still played the same position and struggled.  In the NFL, his best fit on the inside in a 3-4.  At a 5 technique spot, he can make best use of his natural strength and solid build.  Gholston is still a developmental player who has quite a ways to go though.  His football IQ is relatively low and it shows consistently.  His technique is also well behind other prospects in comparison.  Gholston’s size and power aren’t all that common, which will attract a team enough to select him on the draft’s third day.

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