LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A few quick thoughts on the Chicago Bears' second-round draft pick.
The pick: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
My take: Goldman is a logical selection. With veteran Jeremiah Ratliff listed as the lone nose tackle on the Bears’ voluntary minicamp roster, general manager Ryan Pace needed to find a young interior defensive lineman to clog the middle. The 6-foot-4, 336-pound Goldman fits the mold. Plus, Ratliff is 33 years old and just pleaded guilty to a DWI charge from January 2013. The reason Goldman fell to the second round, like Washington’s Danny Shelton, is because he lacks proven pass-rush skills. Goldman had only six career sacks in 37 games at Florida State. That means he likely comes off the field in nickel, although it’s premature to label Goldman a two-down player until he squares off against meaningful competition in training camp. Truth be told, that’s an acceptable trade-off for a player taken at this spot (No. 39). For a Bears defense that opponents steamrolled on the ground the past two years, Goldman is a smart pick. Expect Goldman to immediately compete for a spot in the Bears’ game-day defensive line rotation. The choice receives a thumbs-up.
Space eater: One of the nation’s top interior defensive linemen, Goldman garnered third-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honors. Teams found it difficult to run versus Goldman, who finished 2014 with 35 tackles, eight tackles for loss and four sacks. He tallied 19 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks his sophomore season. How badly do the Bears need a dominant run-stopper? Over the past two years, the Bears’ defense has surrendered an average of 137 rushing yards per game. That is not a typo. Opponents rushed for 137 rushing yards per game against the Bears in 2013-14. That needs to change. If Goldman can generate any sort of pass-rush, it would be a bonus, but the Bears drafted Goldman primarily to anchor the interior of that defensive line. Bigger is better is the new mantra at Halas Hall.
Prime time: Goldman saved his best for the Seminoles’ most important matchups. The defensive tackle forced a fumble with 1:36 left against Clemson in a tie game with the Tigers deep in Florida State territory. The Seminoles recovered the fumble and won the game in overtime, in large part because of Goldman, who recorded a sack and stopped a fourth-and-1 run play that went for no gain. In 2013, Goldman had three tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in the BCS Championship Game. Goldman was a member of the Seminoles’ No. 1 scoring defense.