Being “Bold” On Will GholstonJune 15th, 2014
Joe makes no apologies that he has been rooting for defensive lineman Will Gholston since the Bucs selected him in the fourth round last year. Gholston looked every bit the part of a future defensive end stud.
Questionable discipline, in part, pushed him down to Day 3 of the draft out of Michigan State. But Gholston had talent and one reason Joe became a fan of Gholston was his hellish background.
Gholston easily could have taken the wrong turn in life, but instead chose the hard way and look where he is now. Those who meet Gholston could never guess he came from a nightmarish upbringing. At one time, he was homeless.
How could you not root for a guy like that?
Gholston started off as a bubble player but before the end of his rookie season, he was starting. Gholston worked his tail off and he’s shown more promise that Da’Quan Bowers. Joe believes there is a high ceiling for Gholston, as well.
It seems Scott Smith believes the same. The multimedia maven of Buccaneers.com addressed the likelihood Gholston would out-produce both Adrian Clayborn and Bowers this fall.
Again, I agree on the classification. This one is bold simply because it’s predicting relatively big things for a second-year player with two career starts and two career sacks. Gholston did indeed come on strong at the end of his rookie season, but he still has to prove himself to a new coaching staff, as do Clayborn and Bowers. Predicting Gholston to out-sack Bowers isn’t particularly bold, in that Bowers has had longer that Gholston to try to establish himself and hasn’t really done so yet. Predicting Gholston to outdo Clayborn is bold, however. Clayborn had 7.5 sacks as a rookie, missed most of 2012 due to injury and then came back with 6.0 sacks last year. Those six sacks came during a season in which he didn’t always get rave reviews. That is, that wasn’t the best Clayborn has to offer, probably, and he still got six. Consider that a baseline, and now you’re probably saying that Gholston will have to get six or seven of his own for that prediction to come true. That’s pretty bold.
This is obviously a key year for Clayborn. He was coming off an ugly knee surgery the past season, and it is not uncommon for big guys who work in the trenches to need two years to fully recover from that.
The Bucs, however, are in a show-me mode. Notice the Bucs declined to pick up the fifth year option on Clayborn? That is a not-so-subtle message.
As Joe has stated previously, there’s little hope Bowers will realize his potential. Clearly, he’s running out of time to do so with the Bucs if his position coach is calling him out in June.