Before my flight lifts off and I head toward Mobile, Alabama, for the 2020 Senior Bowl, I decided to piece together some film on one of my favorite players from the 2020 NFL Draft: Oklahoma Sooners defensive tackle Neville Gallimore.
If you’re looking for effort and work ethic, then look no further. Gallimore brings that effort and hustle to every play. That’s because he remembers the amount of work it took to get where he is today. From the first time he played the game of football in the fourth grade to attending his first football camp in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Gallimore has held football as a priority for many years. He became the first Canadian player ever selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was the top ranked player in Canada. With all of the accolades, he fielded over 20 offers from colleges all over the country including school like Alabama and USC.
Gallimore chose Oklahoma and now the former Canada Prep Football Academy star is preparing for life in the NFL. The first step of his career begins this week at the 2020 Senior Bowl. Let’s jump into some film and see why he’s going to solidify his draft status as a top-40 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft!
Versatility Will Draw Attention
Instantly, you’ll notice how versatile Gallimore. Gallimore can align as a 3-technique (outside shoulder of the guard), 4i-technique (inside shoulder of the tackle) or even head up on the center as a nose-tackle (zero or zero-shade). This type of versatility will instantly be put on display in Mobile and teams are going to covet that.
On the play above, Gallimore is aligned head up on the offensive tackle as a 4-technique (4T). Once the ball is snapped, he raises his pad level which is something he needs to work on getting lower during most of his pass-rush reps. However, watch how he tries to split the right guard and the right tackle with a swim move — his favorite pass rush move. Despite not getting the sack, Gallimore generates some pressure in the backfield regardless of the screen pass. Moving forward, he will have to work on getting lower pad level but also recognizing that the screen pass is coming.
Something I’ve instantly noticed with Gallimore is that there’s a ton of pre-snap line shifts with he and his teammates. He starts on the inside shoulder of the left guard and then shifts across to the outside shoulder of the guard. As the ball is snapped, he’s aligned as a 3-technique (3T) and his path takes him inside of the guard where he uses the swim move again. As the quarterback escapes pressure and the pocket, Gallimore stays with the scrambling quarterback, shows off his motor and makes the tackle.
Pursuit and High Effort Plays
Like I said earlier, the pursuit, motor and high effort that Gallimore constantly shows is what teams are going to make teams fall in love with him. It’s one of the traits that separates him from other interior defensive lineman in this class. This type of effort earned him a run-defense grade of 86.1 from Pro Football Focus (PFF) and an overall grade of 89.3.
Staying with the Baylor game, Gallimore was all over the field. Despite only having two tackles for the game and no other flashy stats, he dominated the trenches. On the play above, he’s aligned as a 3T and as the whole defensive line slants toward the boundary, he gets stopped at the line-of-scrimmage. Despite the offensive line keeping Gallimore stagnant, look at the effort from him to time the pass from the quarterback and knock the ball down.
Here, Gallimore is aligned as a nose-tackle and despite getting banged around between the left guard and the center and he spins out of trouble. In the process, the quarterback evades the pocket and Gallimore shows off his pursuit skills and attempts to swipe the feet of the quarterback. How can you not be excited with how he plants his right foot in the ground and takes the proper pursuit and angle upfield? That’s him channeling his inner linebacker.
The play above happened early in the game where Gallimore was aligned as a nose tackle during the pre-snap. Timing the cadence, the defensive line shifts and Gallimore gets aligned as a 3T. Knowing the right guard and right tackle pull away from him, he knows the center is coming towards him. Instantly, he reads the direction of the play and then gets on his horse and pursues towards the ball carrier for the tackle.
Swim Move Leads to Sack
As mentioned, Gallimore loves using the swim move to generate pressure and sack the quarterback. During the 2019 season, he only had four sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss but he did generate 30 quarterback pressures. This led to him having a 14.7% pass-rush win rate. No matter how you want to slice that, it’s pretty remarkable.
The play above comes from the 2018 season where Gallimore is aligned as the nose tackle against Oklahoma State. On this rep, he plays with pretty good pad level and then splits the center and right guard with the swim move. His hands are active through the entire rep and then he gets “skinny” after executing the swim move. This led to his third and final sack of the 2018 season showing potential to his next-level maturation.
The Senior Bowl is going to be a huge week for Gallimore and his draft stock for the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s going to matchup in one-on-ones and make life incredibly difficult for any offensive lineman he matches up against. Despite not being the biggest guy in the room, the 6-foot-2, 303-pound defensive lineman will be one of the more athletic defensive lineman in Mobile.
Neville Gallimore: one of eight Power-5 DI's with an 80.0+ grade in both run-defense and pass-rush. pic.twitter.com/wStOSxYxtz
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 6, 2020
Working with the Detroit Lions and North team, they’re going to fall in love with his versatility and work ethic. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Cincinnati Bengals take notice of what Gallimore can do too. He’ll need to keep working on getting his pad level lower but he’s explosive and has found consistency when using a swim move or spin move to generate pressure. I get a Kenny Clark, UCLA, (Green Bay Packers defensive tackle) type vibe from Gallimore. Maybe he can reach that type of status in the NFL but, for now, he’s focused on the Senior Bowl and is going to solidify his status as a first round pick for the 2020 NFL Draft.