STRENGTHS - A powerful young man, when Gholston plays aggressively and with leverage he can physically dominate offensive linemen. When he stays low and uses hands aggressively on bull rush, he makes it look easy jolting and driving OT backwards into the QB's lap. He has the long arms to get his hands up into the passing lanes to disrupt throws when he cannot get to the QB. On running plays to his side of the field he can be an immoveable force when he maintains leverage and locks out blocker with long arms. He flashes the ability to shed run blocks fast to make tackles on runs at him. When he is left unblocked on the backside of runs away he accelerates down the LOS quickly and has shocking playing speed to chase plays down in pursuit. A high character young man who works hard off the field, Gholston will represent his team well off the field.
WEAKNESSES - Wildly inconsistent in 2012, Gholston lack of aggressiveness, passion and intensity makes m really wonder if he can become the player he flashes the ability to be. Popping upright at the snap the bulk of the time, he gives up leverage and allows blockers to get their hands on him first, which enables less talented players to block him. Gholston is somewhat of a "tweener" in that he likes to play upright and on the edge rather than with leverage and down in the trenches, but the trouble is that he lacks the explosiveness to threaten the corner as an edge rusher. He relies almost exclusively on his strength to get a push and pressure the quarterback. He has no real variety of pass rush moves and if his initial charge is stopped too often he becomes a non-factor.
SUMMARY - After a sophomore season in 2011 where he was an impact player who flashed the ability to be a dominant NFL player, Gholston fell back down to earth with a disappointing junior season performance in 2012. While he seems to fancy himself an edge pass rusher from the way he plays, he is much better suited physically to playing as a five-technique defensive end in a 34 scheme than he is to try and play defensive end in a 43 defense. For a player who physically reminds me so much of current Jets' defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson, Gholston needs to crank up his intensity and aggressiveness to take advantage of his talents to become the player he has the talent to be. One thing that could really help Gholston overcome his inconsistencies, is his good character, work ethic and intangibles. Overall, I believe some team will over-draft Gholston based on his size, athleticism, strength and potential, but buyer beware as he is far from the player he has the talent to be. He will likely become a starter early in his career due to his physical tools, but I believe he will always struggle with consistency, which will keep him from making a big impact for his team. As the cousin of huge bust Vernon Gholston, I am definitely hoping that William can reverse the trend and have a long and productive NFL career.