DT Greg Gaines, Washington

6’1” – 312 lbs. – 5.16
Redshirted, then started six of thirteen games the following year (28-1.0-0.0) before taking on a full-time starting role as a sophomore and maintaining that throughout the remainder of his collegiate career, posting lines of 35-8.0-3.5, 30-5.0-2.5, and 55-6.5-3.5. Very heavy nose tackle with a massive torso and somewhat uneven distribution, appearing as though he’s ready to burst; seemingly carrying even more weight than it seems like his frame can handle. Projects as a zero-technique, but Washington’s defense often varies its fronts and even goes with a two-man line on a regular basis, so he played some different techniques. High-motor player with good stamina for someone his size. A lot quicker off the line of scrimmage that his size would indicate; has the ability to anticipate snap counts, get off the line pretty quickly, and use his suddenness and a swim move to penetrate into the backfield. Of course, his main value is as a run-stuffing, two-gap nose tackle, and as his size would indicate, has little trouble holding his ground against single blockers and even some double teams; does a good job of getting low, extending his arms, and digging in. Able to reset the line of scrimmage and create congestion on interior rushing attempts. Gives good effort in pursuit and can even make some tackles toward the sidelines if runners are funneled back inside when he’s chasing. However, could do a better job of keeping his head up to locate the ball, as he can miss out on some opportunities to shed blocks and make tackles by losing track of runners. Not the most active with his hands and tends to make tackles while engaged instead of discarding blockers. Length appears to be below-average, and balance issues sometimes crop up, possibly in an attempt to compensate. More of a threat to generate pressure than to finish his rushes with sacks, but has a little bit of variety to his rushes and can either walk back opposing centers with his bull rush or even threaten the gaps a little bit. The Huskies have a reputation for churning out massive space-eaters with underrated athleticism, and Gaines is cut from the same cloth. He’s not as freakish an athlete or as naturally-built as past alumni such as Danny Shelton or Vita Vea, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if he came off the board on the second day and worked his way into the starting lineup of a team which uses two-gap principles and a three-man defensive line.

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