PROSPECT SUMMARY – CHAUNCEY GOLSTON
Iowa EDGE Chauncey Golston projects as an early-down defender at the NFL level. Golston’s best flashes come as a playside defensive end who sifts through trash and bullies tight ends and tackles with outside-in leverage to set a firm edge and turn runs back into pursuit. On passing downs, his best penetration comes kicked inside or when he’s asked to stunt and twist to crash into gaps. There’s not a lot of excitement for his ceiling as a pass rusher despite Golston’s prototypical length for the position—which puts a significant glass ceiling over his forecast in the NFL. In all, Golston is a high-motor defender and the perfect early-down rotational player who can help keep your defensive front fresh and winning the point of attack against the run; but I don’t easily foresee a featured role or the development required to become a successful pass rusher in the NFL.
Ideal Role: Early-down rotational defender.
Scheme Fit: Base 4-3 defensive end.
Written by: Kyle Crabbs
Games watched: Michigan (2019), USC (2019), Purdue (2020), Michigan State (2020)
Best Game Studied: Michigan State (2020)
Worst Game Studied: Michigan (2019)
First-Step Explosiveness: When he loads weight onto his front hand, he actually does offer a fair amount of spring and can shoot gaps—I really liked how he crashed and slanted into gaps to get hip to hip and then push through lateral contact. He was more of a slow burn athlete when charged with reading mesh point or coming out of a two-point stance; his raw athleticism ceiling seems to only be modest.
Flexibility: Consistency in cornering is not super high and he didn’t flash a lot of surface reduction on his challenges off the edge. As a result, he’s best in tight alignments and trying to shoot gaps. His cornering and ability to create soft angles in pursuit is not a standout trait—he’s very linear and requires hard angle adjustments to adjust to the ball-carrier on the move.
Hand Counters: Tale of two kinds of reps: pass rush counters and P.O.A. counters. In the run game, he’s chucked and tossed blockers around with a fair amount of success, especially in the 2020 games studied. He's attentive to weight distribution and understands how to use his hands to manipulate a block and uncover to challenge the run. Against the pass, he’s overly non-imaginative and slow to implement his shedding techniques.
Length: Golston measured in with impressive length at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl, but he doesn’t play to the length he’s been genetically gifted on the football field. He's too often in close quarters and chest to chest with blockers and he doesn’t flash his hands to force punches with consistency; instead choosing to simply attack gaps and hope to run through contact.
Hand Power: He doesn’t appear to have a great deal of upper-body strength, but he is pretty savvy with pulling blockers off their set. His strike zone is modest and his ability to collapse blocks and jolt pads only really shine when he’s locking horns head to head with blockers. There are some disengagement skills here, but overall I wouldn’t consider this a major standout trait.
Run Defending: He’s comfortably better here than he is as a rusher. Golston appears more instinctive and comfortable processing action in real time to filter through blockers and win to get off blocks. As both a penetration player and negotiating the point of attack, I like the flashes you get to uncover and challenge the football.
Effort/Motor: A high energy level player who found much of his splash play production on second effort plays and hustle. Coaches will love the energy and rally skills he brings to the field.
Football IQ: I appreciate his awareness of when he’s not going to get home and the effort to disrupt throwing windows by getting his hands up. Golston did take a step forward this year with the confidence in his play and there should be optimism for a higher ceiling yet to be reached—although his unimaginative pass rush will require him to land in an aggressive blitz-oriented rush group to help him obtain unblocked pathways to the quarterback.
Lateral Mobility: His short-area agility isn’t fluid and he’s a bit more of a rigid mover. He can slash and crash if his angles are calibrated pre-snap, but in real time and in live action he’s a little clunky in pursuit or trying to flash on the edge. Outside contain responsibilities will be a challenge and he’ll be best set to the strength with a nickel or LB who can carry perimeter presence outside of him.
Versatility: Golston has played from multiple stances and alignments at Iowa but projecting him forward offers less wiggle room or creativity. He loses appeal from a two-point stance and wider alignments to play him crashing off the edge won’t offer him as much appeal. Play him in tight alignments as a C- and B-gap defender and let him crash down a gap for best results.
TDN Consensus: To Be Determined
Kyle Crabbs: 71.50/100