Overshadowed throughout his career at Alabama by players such as A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed, Dalvin Tomlinson flew under the radar coming into his senior season. The former Georgia native took a huge leap forward this past season, anchoring the Crimson Tide’s defense to a National Title game appearance in 2016. That vaunted Crimson Tide defense also finished first in the Nation in rush yards against and allowed only a 2.01 yards per rush all season thanks to guys like Tomlinson in the front seven.
For his career, Tomlinson finished with 122 total tackles, 10.5 TFL, and 4.0 sacks. Tomlinson also displayed great awareness in the passing game by tallying 9 pass deflections in his career.
Although his stats aren’t phenomenal by any means, Tomlinson will be a great asset for an NFL team. His game relies on setting up plays for his teammates and eating blocks which he excelled at his senior year. If he is used in a scheme that best suits his skill set, Tomlinson can have a legit NFL career and may end up being better than either of his predecessors (Reed and Robinson).
Name: Dalvin Tomlinson
Size: 6’3”/ 310 lbs/ 33 1/2” Arm Length
Class: RS Senior
Comparison: Kyle Williams (Buffalo Bills)
Draft Grade: Early 2nd Round
Combine: 40 Time: 5.19 seconds, Vertical: 27”, Broad: 110”
Strengths: Plays with very good leverage and strength, rarely gets moved off his spot by one blocker. Technically sound, stacks and sheds blockers very well. Lateral ability is impressive for a player his size. Excels as a run defender. Dictates where the ball carrier goes and plugs holes efficiently. Has the ability to be an effective NT/ two gap player. Very active, hands and feet are always constantly moving. Has the awareness to get his hands up and bat down balls in the passing game. Above average in the pass game at collapsing the pocket from the interior, aware of his lanes and rarely out of position when rushing. Has Pro Bowler upside as a one gap player in a 4-3 defense, shows great explosion in that role.
Weaknesses: Has that cliched Alabama defensive tackle flaw of being a run first defender. Lacks the skill set and athleticism to be a pass rushing force on the interior of a defense. Gets knocked off his spot too often by double teams, if asked to play 0 Tech in the NFL this could be a problem. Timing off the snap is very inconsistent when playing as a nose tackle. Only one true season as a starter on that Alabama defense. Biggest flaw overall though is lack of a steady, consistent pass rush.
Overview: Dalvin Tomlinson is the best interior defensive lineman in this draft class not named Caleb Brantley. He is technically sound and plays with great leverage and strength against the run. His game would reach its max potential with him playing as one gap player in a 4-3 defense though where his strength and explosion would easily allow him to win one on ones with ease. Teams like the Eagles, Raiders, Vikings, and Cowboys would be a very good fit for Tomlinson. Regardless of scheme though, I do expect Tomlinson to be a solid pro for many years to come.