The Green Bay Packers may be in the market for an interior defensive lineman in the 2020 NFL Draft. Historically, these players are bigger, lumbering players, but in the case of one of this year’s draft prospects, straight-line speed is a true strength. Here’s a look at a prospect who could draw some eyes late in round one or into day two of the draft.
Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
Weight: 304 pounds
Gallimore has good reaction time off the snap and excellent rate of force explosiveness off the line, which sets him up well for both speed- and power-based pass rush techniques. Gallimore makes excellent use of his hands; his motions are both quick and accurate, often striking the weak points of the offensive lineman: the wrist, the inside of the elbow, and the back of the shoulder. Gallimore utilizes swipes, chops, and clubs both as stand alone techniques and in combination with other pass rush techniques such as swim moves, spin moves, and hump moves.
What really stands out is the coordination between Gallimore’s lower body and his upper body during the execution of his pass rush. Gallimore’s footwork is almost always timed to maximize force while maintaining balance. For instance, on one pass rush against Texas his Senior year, Gallimore fired off the ball, planted his outside foot and torqued his hips as he executed a swipe which knocked the offensive lineman’s hands away and threw him off balance. In the same motion, Gallimore pivoted off of the same planted foot and performed a lightning quick spin move. The offensive lineman was still off balance with his hands down and he couldn’t get his hands back into Gallimore’s chest, resulting in a sack.
Gallimore’s games are full of instances such as these, weaving explosion, footwork, hand skills, and pass rush moves into a work of pass rush art. He also demonstrated good tenacity, throwing secondary hand techniques and pass rush moves if the initial one failed and continuing to churn his feet attempting to create pressure.
Gallimore is also capable of getting the job done via brute force. His quick burst off the line often allows him to get his hands into the offensive lineman first and he usually fires low and rolls his hips into contact, getting under the offensive lineman and popping them upright. Once Gallimore has leverage, he demonstrates good leg drive and strength, with several instances on tape of him driving linemen into the quarterback’s lap. Gallimore’s hand skills and pass rush technique allow him to quickly disengage off the bull rush to pursue potential sacks.
While Gallimore has some excellent pass rush qualities, he does have a couple of weak points. Gallimore does have a variety of pass rush moves that he’s proficient in and has shown the capacity to combine them to great effect, but for some reason he’s in the habit of using the same combination for multiple pass rush reps consecutively which makes him entirely too predictable. He’s especially bad about utilizing swim moves for three or four pass rush reps in a row. For obvious reasons, this tends to diminish Gallimore’s effectiveness, and he’ll sometimes disappear from games for stretches as a result.
Gallimore also struggles against pass rushing effectively against double teams. Gallimore appears to recognize double teams a tick slow, and as a result he isn’t able to quick-step in time to split the lineman and get his feet and hips behind them before they get their hand on him. As a result, Gallimore usually isn’t able to effect the pass rusher when he is doubled.
Gallimore’s quick get-off and hand skills allows him to periodically get quick penetration and attack the ball carrier behind the line. Gallimore often runs into trouble in those situations, however, as he appears to have mediocre lateral agility and struggles to redirect himself towards the ball carrier once he has penetrated the line. As a result, Gallimore will sometimes whiff on the tackle, which results in a giant hole forming behind him that running backs often exploited. Either Gallimore needs to work on his quick area agility and quickly redirecting himself or he’ll need to learn to temper his penetration and not get too deep behind the line to avoid giving up big plays.
Even when he doesn’t get quick penetration, Gallimore is still an effective run defender. Gallimore fires off the ball low and rolls his hips into contact, allowing him to get good leverage. Once he has leverage Gallimore was usually able to at least keep the offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage and control his gap, and from time to time Gallimore would drive the lineman back a could of yards, preventing gaps from forming.
One area for improvement as a run defender is against double teams (sense a theme?). While his technique wasn’t atrocious, Gallimore often didn’t sink his hips and anchor well enough when he was double teamed and he was usually driven back a yard or two. Again, it appears that he might not recognize the double team coming at him in time to anchor to the best of his ability.
Another area for Gallimore to improve is his tackling technique. Gallimore often had a high aim point and relied on arm tackling a bit too much. It’s hard to get too down on him about it however since tackling on the interior line is rarely pretty in any case.
Gallimore primarily played at zero technique, one technique, and three technique in college. Gallimore should slot in easily as an interior defensive tackle in nickle or dime sub packages. Despite not having ideal size, Gallimore should still be an effective nose tackle option in the base 3-4 but he does appear to be a much more natural fit for the defensive end position even though it might take him some time to learn how to effectively play that position in Mike Pettine’s system.
40-yard dash: 4.79 seconds (1.69 10-yard split)
Bench press: 23 reps
Vertical: Did not participate (30” Pro Day)
Broad jump: Did not parcitipate (112” Pro Day)
3-cone: 7.97 seconds
Shuttle: 5.01 seconds (4.65 s at Pro Day)
While he’s rough around the edges in a few regards, Gallimore is a very good athlete who demonstrated big play potential as both an interior pass rusher and as a run defender. To me, that makes Gallimore a first round player. That being said, while Gallimore is a good athlete, he isn’t an exceptional one and there are other players who are bigger, quicker, and stronger who can also give you that big play potential. As such, I believe that in a standard draft class that Gallimore is a late first round draft pick. I believe he would be an excellent pairing with Kenny Clark and would bolster the interior line play for the Packers in both pass rush and run defense.