William Gholston to the Buccaneers: How Does DE Fit with Tampa Bay?

J.J. RodriguezContributor IIApril 27, 2013

September 29, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive end William Gholston (2) gestures to the crowd during the second half of a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Spartan Stadium. Ohio State won 17-16.  Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

William Gholston, the newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is bigger than most players on the field at any given time. But when you're 6'7" and 281 lbs, that's not hard to accomplish.

And while measurables have always been in his favor, it's been everything else about his game that's raised question marks about how well he projects in the NFL. He's been knocked for disappearing for stretches at a time, gets pushed around way too often and, for someone with such an imposing stature, is far from being a pass-rushing end.



The need along the defensive line is apparent, so the addition of Gholston makes sense from that standpoint. However, he will face stiff competition for playing time this season, as the Bucs have eight defensive ends under contract, including starters Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers.

It should be noted that both Clayborn and Bowers have injury concerns heading into 2013, so adding Gholston acts as somewhat of an insurance policy in that sense.

But as I mentioned above, Gholston only flashes pass-rushing ability. That's frustrating, to say the least, for someone with the size and strength that he possesses. His long arms (34") give him the ability to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage, but aside from that, he is really limited in passing situations.


Early Projection

With several players in front of him on the depth and him in desperate need of quality coaching to shore up technique flaws, Gholston's impact this season will likely be minimal.

Bucs defensive line coach Randy Melvin has a promising prospect to work with, as Gholston clearly has the physical tools needed to succeed, but he needs work to correct significant flaws in his technique before he can be viewed as a legitimate defensive force.

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