Now that I’ve officially ran through all day one and day two draft selections in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, it’s time to dive into day three. The first on the list is Washington Huskies DT Greg Gaines.
Gaines was a four-year contributor with the Huskies totaling 149 tackles, 21.5 tackles-for-loss, 9.5 sacks, and even one interception in his college career. He was a Senior who also participated in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Let’s take a look at the write-up:
Limited athletically, but perfect for the role he’s used in. Not great off the snap, can see his lack of explosion/athleticism often in pass rush. If he doesn’t come off explosive as a pass rusher (timing snaps), he loses the rep. Active hands but often lets offensive lineman into his chest, makes pass rush completely stale on those reps. The active hands are nice though, and he possesses a good swim move. Can look the part of a pass rusher every now and again when he bursts off the line of scrimmage. High motor. Does a good job re-setting the line of scrimmage. Can 2-gap. Productive stacking and shedding offensive lineman, making tackles at the line of scrimmage or just past on ball carriers. Very solid run defender. Runs to the ball even when its not close to him.
This rep here isn’t anything special, but it’s exactly what Gaines will be asked to do when sandwiched between DT’s Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. Gaines uses his power and leverage to stand the offensive lineman up, watches the running back choose his gap, and disposes the blocker to make the tackle for essentially no gain:
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Like I said above, Gaines is actually a really tremendous run stuffer, and not only that, but he does offer some pass rushing ability. Don’t get me wrong, Gaines will never be confused for Aaron Donald, but when he can time the snap well and come out his stance with explosion, he can collapse the pocket effectively. His strong hand usage allows him to remain effective on passing downs, though a lot of his rushes can result in a stale effort too. His pass rushing efforts are a mixed bag, though his run stuffing prowess isn’t in question. Gaines was added to play the part of nose tackle on run downs, and then potentially get subbed out for a more athletic pass rusher, or even to potentially affect quarterbacks by himself. Day three is the perfect spot to find role players who fill specific assignments, and Gaines is sure to help the Rams’ run defense (they weren’t good in 2018) in a major way.
Here is Gaines’ athletic profile via MockDraftable:
Next up on the docket is Wisconsin Badgers OT David Edwards.