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Chauncey Golston, EDGE, Iowa – NFL Draft Player Profile

Iowa defensive lineman Chauncey Golston waited for his opportunity, but how long will he have to wait in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Chauncey Golston, Defensive Lineman, Iowa - NFL Draft Player Profile
EVANSTON, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 26: Chauncey Golston #57 of the Iowa Hawkeyes attempts to sack Aidan Smith #11 of the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 26, 2019 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Iowa defensive lineman Chauncey Golston has had to wait patiently for his opportunity to shine, but the NFL Draft is calling his name. How does he project at the next level, and how long might he have to wait to hear his name called?

Chauncey Golston NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: EDGE
  • School: Iowa
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height: 6’4 3/4″
  • Weight: 268 pounds
  • Wingspan: 84 3/8″
  • Arm: 33 3/4″
  • Hand: 11″

Tony Pauline’s Chauncey Golston Scouting Report

Positives: Underrated defensive end prospect with upside and growth potential. Fires off the snap, breaks down well, and plays with proper pad level. Moves well laterally, slides off blocks, and makes plays in pursuit. Incredibly quick, displays terrific hand technique, and bends off the edge, immediately altering his angle of attack to pursue the action.

Occasionally stands over tackle and shows the ability to rush the passer. Exploits marginally athletic offensive tackles, plays hard and is rarely off his feet.

Featured | NFL Draft Prospects 2021: Pauline’s updated big board, player rankings

Negatives: Struggles getting off blocks and is more of a first-step lineman. Must significantly improve his strength at the point.

Analysis: Golston was a solid starter at Iowa the past two seasons and went on to have a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl. He’s a natural 4-3 defensive end and a situational pass rusher who will eventually mature into an every-down player.

Chauncey Golston Player Profile

A Detroit, Michigan native, Chauncey Golston’s path to the NFL Draft began at East English Village Prep. Success came early to Golston. During his time with the Bulldogs, East English went to the state playoffs in three straight seasons and secured 23 wins.

As a junior, Golston racked up 53 tackles and impressed as a pass rusher with 13 sacks. Although he was productive, there was precious little collegiate interest and even fewer offers. He was a three-star recruit per 247 Sports but rated only as the 41st-ranked defensive end.

Although Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Brown showed interest, the Iowa Hawkeyes were the only program to offer a scholarship. Feeling immediately at home alongside high school teammate Cedrick Lattimore during a visit to the Hawkeyes, Golston committed to Iowa on May 18th, 2015. Before enrolling, however, there was the small matter of his senior season.

Following another productive season in 2015 — 43 tackles and 9 sacks — Golston signed his letter of intent. Not only had he been productive at Iowa but, he’d also exhibited leadership as a team captain in his final two years.

Chauncey Golston’s career at Iowa

It would be a while before that production would be seen on the field at Iowa. Due to conflicting reports, it’s not possible to accurately ascertain Golston’s weight coming out of high school, but suffice to say he needed to bulk up before playing a snap of college football. Some media outlets had him listed as low as 215 pounds and nowhere had him tagged as above 235 pounds.

Thus, the Iowa defensive lineman had to wait. He redshirted in 2016 and saw action in just two games as a redshirt freshman in 2017. In addition to bulking up, Chauncey Golston also faced competition for playing time on a stacked Iowa defensive line that featured future NFL Draft selections Anthony Nelson and A.J. Epenesa.

It wasn’t until 2018 that Golston began to see meaningful playing time. The Iowa defensive lineman showcased his versatility playing snaps at defensive tackle and defensive end. He also began to flash his production with 9 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and he led the team with 3 forced fumbles.

Becoming a starting defensive lineman for Iowa

With Nelson departed to the NFL Draft, 2019 gave Chauncey Golston the opportunity for his first full season as a starter. Continuing to show his value as a pass rusher and run stuffer, Golston also flashed the opportunity to impact the passing game in another way. Using his long arms and big hands, plus the ability to drop into coverage, Golston added five pass breakups and an interception to his stat sheet.

Despite concerns over a shortened season, Golston refused to opt out of the 2020 season. His passion to play football and lead the team helped him make the decision to play in what would be his final season as an Iowa defensive lineman. In his most productive season yet, Golston racked up 5.5 sacks in just eight games, while adding an interception for the third consecutive season.

Following the college football season, Chauncey Golston announced his decision to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. He will be joined by highly-rated Iowa defensive lineman Daviyon Nixon. Their teammate Zach VanValkenburg decided to return to the Hawkeyes.

Analyzing Chauncey Golston’s NFL Draft Profile

What will a team get with Iowa defensive lineman Chauncey Golston if they select him in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The first thing they’ll get is versatility. Being versatile has never been more important in the NFL than it is now. As defenses comply less to formational norms, the ability to line up anywhere on the defensive line is extremely valuable.

Golston has experience playing defensive tackle or defensive end. Additionally, he has lined up at both left and right end during his time at Iowa. He also has experience of dropping back into coverage, which adds further value.

Featured | 2021 Senior Bowl Rosters, Weigh-Ins, and Measurements

One of the most impressive aspects of Golston’s game is his strength. He bulked up to 270 pounds during his time at Iowa, and that has allowed him to become a strong and powerful defensive lineman. Golston parlays that strength into a powerful bull rush. Going up against man-mountain Deonte Brown in Senior Bowl practices and being able to force him backward was impressive evidence of the strength he has at his disposal.

He is as strong as an ox, and this has helped him become an enforcer in the run game.

What are the concerns about Chauncey Golston?

One of Golston’s primary strengths, unfortunately, can become an area of weakness. He relies on his strength to physically overwhelm his opposite man. If this doesn’t work, however, it doesn’t feel like he has a backup plan. It’s a case of overpower or it’s rep over. He doesn’t appear to have a vast array of pass-rush moves. It also feels like he doesn’t have much in the way of a pass-rush plan.

More concerning — from a defensive end perspective — is his lack of speed and apparent lack of agility. Golston will find it incredibly difficult to win around the edge in the NFL. Where teams are looking for players who can bend around the edge, they are going to overlook Golston.

Chauncey Golston’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft

Although most of his reps are at defensive end, Chauncey Golston’s best value in the 2021 NFL Draft may come as a traditional 3-tech defensive tackle. In the film that I have watched, the Iowa defensive lineman is at his most productive when working inside. It allows him to be dangerous against the run as well as impacting the passing game.
In his latest big board for Pro Football Network, Tony Pauline has a fourth-round grade on Golston. He ranks as his 126th-ranked prospect and 15th-ranked EDGE. An impressive performance at the Senior Bowl this week could see him improve in a defensive end class that has proven incredibly divisive.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.
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