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Dalvin Tomlinson, DL: The Run Defender The Redskins Need

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2017 Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

CFP National Championship Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dalvin Tomlinson, DL
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 310 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Jarran Reed

College Statistics

Player Overview

Dalvin Tomlinson’s onfield success stems from his experience as a wrestler in high school. Tomlinson was a three-time state champ in the sport and the balance and leverage skills he learned as a wrestler make him one of the most technical sound prospects in this draft at the position. Tomlinson is also a very smart player on and off the field. He was recruited by Harvard due to his talent but obviously his academics as well. Tomlinson had to redshirt his freshman year due to an ACL tear from playing soccer but once he got on the field he has made his presence felt. Tomlinson played both DT and DE while at Alabama but his strength right now is as a run defender. Tomlinson shows outstanding awareness and vision defending his gaps. He was often asked to play with two-gap responsibilities. He can win with his initial movements and active hands and can shed blocks to make tackles in the backfield. He has obvious power and due to his background wins the leverage and balance battle more times than not. He is also a high effort/motor player and will pursue the ball downfield. Tomlinson is projected to go on day two of the draft due to his lack of consistent pass rush skills but teams looking for a defensive lineman to help with their run defense are sure to have him ranked highly on their boards.


  • Good size for the position and has the versatility to play in both major base defenses.
  • Has impressive strength and power and can move offensive lineman back into the quarterback's lap and collapse the pocket from the middle. Has a great punch and impressive leg drive and keeps moving.
  • Outstanding awareness and vision when playing the run. Is aware of his gap responsibilities and can create a roadblock in the middle. Peeks into the backfield and has quick reaction ability to get off blocks and seal off gaps.
  • Smart player who studies tape and recognizes tendencies based off personnel on the field and understands the strengths and weaknesses of the linemen he’s going against.
  • So much of a force that he commands double teams a good deal which frees up his teammates to make plays.
  • Shows good pursuit and is a high effort and high motor guy.


  • Limited pass rush ability. He doesn’t have quick twitch ability or noticeable burst off the line.
  • Can I start calling this the Alabama question? Some aren’t convinced his talent will translate to the NFL due to all the talent on Bama’s defense.
  • Needs a more diverse array of pass rush moves on rush downs. Leverage is half the battle but it would behoove him to incorporate rips, swims, and spin moves more into his game.

Let’s see his work:

How Would He Fit On The Redskins

There is a reason a lot of us Skins fans would be more than pleased with the selection of Tomlinson. He is a much-needed force as a run defender an area the Redskins were so bad in last year. I’m not sure if Tomlinson can or should add on more weight but I would place him right in the middle of the Redskins 3-4 defense. Tomlinson won’t suddenly make the Redskins top 10 in rush defense but his addition would be a step in the right direction of drafting young talented players to the defensive line. Tomlinson is a smart player and I have no doubts he will make every effort to round out his game and become a better player. An area where he could hopefully contribute if his skills translate is occupying two blockers. This would free up the rush end on defense as well as the outside linebackers and arguably would help the inside linebackers as well. The leverage and base he plays with are pro ready and he should at worst be a day one heavy contributor in the middle of the Redskins defense. If the Skins want him they should be prepared to pull the trigger in the 2nd round I highly doubt he will be there in the 3rd.