Eddie Goldman, Defensive Tackle
10 years ago the Chicago Bears defense was an absolute monster that carried them to a Super Bowl appearance. Now it’s a mess that is barely being held together and in many ways that makes picking breakout candidates harder. There are a lot of snaps to be won in training camp and preseason games. But that also means there are a lot of players who could breakout in 2016. I think I’ve gone for the most likely one to take a big step forward, the large defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.
The 6ft 4, 320 pound, Goldman was a 2nd round pick in 2015 and had a pretty solid season as the anchor of the Bears defense but he had streaks of inconsistency and poor technical play mixed in with good results last season. He needs to get more consistent and start being the pressure threat he was with Florida State, another preseason of technique honing and being a little more comfortable with the level of NFL play should help him become the player Chicago foresaw when they took him 39th overall and the center-dominating nose tackle he was in college.
Goldman did collect 4.5 sacks and 5 tackles for a loss last season, but he was a beast in college, picking up 8 sacks in his final year. That kind of pass rush from the interior was why the Bears drafted him so highly, if he can begin to replicate that kind of production in the pros then he can be an elite player.
It was under Vic Fangio in San Francisco that Justin Smith became one of the best defensive tackles in football, Bears fans will be ecstatic if Goldman can become that type of player in Chicago as the defense looks to return to being the dominant unit in an NFC North that now boasts a lot of offensive firepower.