A stalwart 4-year contributor for the Georgia Tech defense, Adam Gotsis proved invaluable to Ted Roof's defense (and briefly Al Groh's, but we don't talk about that) throughout his career at Georgia Tech. His college career cut short by an ACL injury suffered against Virginia, Gotsis has been limited throughout the NFL Draft process. FTRS has reviewed some of his game film to asses his future NFL prospects.
A cut-up of his performance against Clemson this year can be found here. **Warning: May contain disturbing images for Georgia Tech fans** (Although Gotsis actually performed pretty well.)
- Uses quick, powerful hands well in both pass rushing and run defense. Frequently able to control his opponent at the point of attack when single-blocked.
- Has a well-developed rip move that allows him to get penetration. Without a double-team, blockers have a hard time getting their hands on him as a result.
- Sheds blocks well, using his hands to prevent blockers from getting into his chest.
- Heavy hitter, explodes through the passer when on a free rush, making it difficult for the passer to follow through.
- Excellent strength at the point of attack for his size. Occasionally gets pushed back by double teams but usually holds his ground. Opposing offensive linemen clearly respected him, as he was one of the most frequently double-teamed players on the defense.
- Good motor, pursues the ball carrier horizontally and vertically, and is often involved in the tackle.
- While he is a powerful hitter, he needs to be careful about how he hits the quarterback at the next level. His play style could draw personal fouls (and fines).
- Needs to work on wrapping up runners. There were a few instances on film of Gotsis getting to the ball carrier, only to have the back slip out of his tackle.
- Occasionally goes for the big hit in the backfield instead of breaking down and reacting to the runner, causing some missed tackles.
- Doesn't have a very explosive first step, which could make it difficult to get edge pressure if he moves outside to DE.
- Struggles a bit if his first rush/penetration move doesn't work, needs to work on his recovery once an OL gains the upper hand.
- There are questions of how he fits into an NFL defense. He's a bit light to play 3-Technique in a 4-3 system, and may not possess the quickness to play outside. Best fit is likely as a 3-4 DE (5-Tech).
- Injury concern. ACL injuries create a level of uncertainty that will cause NFL teams to view players as a risk. He will need to be re-checked by doctors and show progress towards recovery.
NFL Team Fits
The Cardinals have reportedly met with Gotsis, who could provide solid depth to a team looking to win now.
Rex Ryan struggled to adjust the Bills' 4-3 personnel to his 3-4 scheme. In this draft, expect Ryan to build solid depth with players that fit his system. Gotsis would join former teammate T.J. Barnes in Buffalo.
San Francisco 49ers
After drafting Arik Armstead last year, the 49ers could look for a bookend 5-Tech this year in an attempt to revitalize what was once one of the NFL's best defenses. If the 49ers don't draft DeForest Buckner in the 1st round, they could look at someone like Gotsis in the mid-rounds. Gotsis would join former Yellow Jacket Deandre Smelter in San Francisco.
The Browns have spent the off-season in tear-down mode, letting several players walk, releasing others, and hiring a new coach. The Browns will look to add pieces to their 3-man front in the draft.
At the midpoint of last season, I would have told you Gotsis was Georgia Tech's highest-rated draft prospect. After the ACL and DJ White's impressive draft process, I'm no longer certain of that. Still, despite being relatively new to football, Gotsis was able to contribute as a true freshman, and was a 3-year starter at Georgia Tech.
In 2015, Gotsis was one of the most productive defensive linemen in the ACC, earning third team All-ACC honors even in a shortened campaign. His resume and film support his case to be a mid-round pick, but it's tough to ignore the questions of fit and the injury. There will be several teams that remove Gotsis from their draft boards for one of those two reasons.
Without the injury, he's probably a fourth-round prospect, but with it he could be anywhere from a fourth- to a sixth-rounder. Much of that will depend on medical re-checks, and teams will keep those hushed. Wherever Gotsis ends up, he will be a productive player who will provide a strong presence along the defensive line.