When Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman was a high school standout in Washington, D.C., he had ample occasions to see the Dallas Cowboys play his hometown Redskins. One Cowboys player in particular became the player he sees as his model.
Fittingly perhaps, after the Bears selected him with the No. 7 pick, 39th overall, of the 2015 draft’s second round on Friday, he is now on the same NFL roster as that player — nose tackle Jeremiah Ratliff.
“I know you haven’t seen him lately, but I still remember the days he was with the Cowboys,” Goldman said at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.
“[Ratliff] hardnosed. He’s so physical. I believe one time he was mic’d up in a game and one thing he kept saying is ‘they aren’t going to win the physical part of the game.’ That’s a thing I try to pride myself on, is being physical. He came up in big moments, too.
“That’s one thing I noticed about him. He’d get sacks in tight fourth-quarter games, that stood out to me.”
Goldman now projects to compete directly with Ratliff and a handful of applicants for work at nose tackle in the Bears’ emerging 3-4. At 6-4, 334 pounds, Goldman immediately becomes the biggest Bears defensive lineman and a prototypical nose tackle, something the Bears currently do not have. Ratliff is 34, missed five games last season with different injuries and has not played all 16 games in any of the last three seasons.
Coach John Fox laid out the expectations for his nose tackles during this week’s minicamp:
“Obviously hold the point,” Fox said. “You’re good on defense when you’re good up the middle. I think we’ve got some good candidates there… Basically a block-eater inside that’s tough and doesn’t get knocked off the ball.”
The defense rotated multiple players in at the nose-tackle spot during this week’s veteran minicamp but none with the mass and force of Goldman.
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The Bears want more than a block-eater in the middle and Goldman had six sacks over Florida State’s last two seasons.
“I can give you a little finesse now and again,” Goldman said, laughing. “But for the main part, I’m a tough, hard-nosed type of guy.”
He doesn’t take offense at being characterized as a run-stuffer. Just the opposite, in fact.
“It’s accurate and I like it,” Goldman said. “I’m a good pass rusher as well. I can stuff the run and then on third-and-long I can get after the passer.”