Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore has not had a typical route to the NFL.
Of course, it isn’t normal for top defensive prospects to come from Oklahoma over the last several years. That school, and the Big XII in general, have become known much more for their explosive offenses than anything like defensive prowess. But Gallimore is an exciting defensive line prospect, despite hailing from a team that turns football games into track meets.
But that’s not all of what makes Gallimore’s journey to the 2020 NFL Draft interesting. A red shirt senior, he was once the top prep school prospect in all of Canada. Gallimore had to work hard to get up to speed to play for a major power in the NCAA, but his hard work paid off.
The New York Giants might have plenty of defensive tackles, but they do need a pass rush, and perhaps they might look at Gallimore as an interior rusher if the value is right.
Games Played: 46
Tackles For a loss: 17.0
Forced Fumbles: 5.0
Games Played (starts): 13
Tackles For a loss: 6.5
Forced Fumbles: 1
Best: Explosiveness, athleticism, hand usage, motor
Worst: Length, play strength
Projection: Rotation iDL with starting potential in a one-gap defense.
Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore brings a blend of good size and very good explosiveness to the defensive tackle position. He is over 300 pounds but carries his weight very well, with little excess to hinder his uncommon athleticism. Gallimore’s game is built around an explosive get-off which frequently sees him as the first defensive player moving on Oklahoma’s front. He drives upfield well, attacking the A or B gaps, and pressuring blockers to respond. Gallimore shows good forethought in his rushes, using a variety of moves, from power rushes, to chop and swim moves, to spin moves to keep blockers off balance. He also frequently works for half-man leverage, putting his hips in gaps and minimizing the amount of power blockers are able to generate. Gallimore does a good job of fighting through blockers’ hands, using his own to keep them from locking in blocks and gaining leverage on him.
He is capable of stacking and shedding one-on-one blocks to make tackles and shows excellent competitive hustle and motor in pursuit. His long speed makes him more of a threat to make tackles in pursuit than a typical interior defensive lineman.
Gallimore has only adequate play strength and can struggle to defeat double teams or powerful linemen if they are able to counter his initial burst. His relative lack of length can also show up and he can have issues dealing with longer offensive linemen. Gallimore also plays with inconsistent leverage, compromising his athleticism. He needs to do a better job of playing with good hip and pad level throughout his reps to maximize his play strength.
Overall Grade: 6.4 - Has the traits to become a dependable starter in the right situation. Should become an important contributor early in his rookie year. [Grading Scale]
Neville Gallimore projects best as an interior defensive lineman in a one-gap defense. He was frequently lined as a nose tackle in Oklahoma’s defense, only to be stunted to another gap. Gallimore’s future defensive coordinator should make a point of including a steady diet of stunts and twists for him, as his athleticism makes him particularly effective in executing them. The team that drafts him should make sure to already have a good nose tackle, as Gallimore was frequently double or triple teamed by opposing offenses, and he does not have the power to overcome those blocks.
Gallimore is at his best in one-gap schemes and attacking into the backfield. Teams would do well to play him as a 3, 4i, or 5 technique, perhaps with some tilt-1 technique sprinkled in if opposing centers struggle with speed rushers.
Gallimore will need to continue to work on improving his leverage, pad level, and play strength if he wants to be a consistent starter in the NFL. However, he should still be a useful piece for any defense based on his athleticism, hand usage, and motor.