(Editor's Note: I was going to write this on Wednesday but chose to do the Sly Williams article instead. Now, with Kwame's brother in the fold and all this talk about Jarvis Jones over the last few days, it only makes sense to spotlight the big guy.)
The future of the nose tackle position could go many ways. Isaac Sopoaga was signed by the Eagles to likely be starter at the position early and probably for most (if not all) of the season. Still, Chip Kelly has left many clues towards his love for competition and with Spooky being on the wrong side of 30, some young competition at the nose tackle spot is warranted.
Some have wondered whether the Eagles should draft a big guy like Utah's Star Lotulelei, Georgia's John Jenkins or UNC's Sly Williams in the first few rounds while others have suggested that drafting a developmental player on Day 3 could benefit the team in the future and allow Sopoaga to earn his contract in 2013. If you are one of those who prefers the latter option, Georgia's Kwame Geathers could be your guy.
The massive (6'5," 342 lbs, 35 1/4" arms) Kwame Geathers is the brother of former Bengals defensive end and current free agent, Robert Geathers, and the newest Philadelphia Eagles, Clifton Geathers. Kwame's NFL lineage does not stop there. His father and uncle both played in the league and had success in the 1980's. His mom was also clearly a trooper in the delivery room (Robert is 6'3," 280 lbs and Clifton is 6'7," 325).
The youngest Geathers comes out of Georgia as a redshirt junior. He was a backup in his first two seasons of play but became a prominent fixture of the Todd Grantham defense in year three. He played in all 14 games in 2012 and produced 40 tackles (5 for loss) and one sack. He did not get a ton of playing time of his career as a Bulldog but his measurement and tape when he has gotten into games, could be his ticket to the NFL.
One thing that all draft analysis notice right away is Geathers size and how he uses it. NFL.com says "Geathers has an absolutely monstrous frame and carries the weight well. Packs a powerful punch and can offensive lineman on their heals immediately." While CBS goes in-depth with the description of his size, saying he is "tall with the arm length to go along with his height. Good quickness off the snap, showing enough burst to surprise the center and ruin plays before they begin. Strong enough to plant his feet and simply lean to the side to occupy two gaps. Good strength for the drag-down tackle."
Geathers is still pretty raw, having received a lack of ideal playing time, but that also seems to catch up with his work ethic. CBS explains his lack of effort at times, saying Geathers "is not the sum of his parts. Relies on his size and doesn't play as big as he looks." NFL.com adds that he "will get lazy and come off the ball high, allowing defenders to get into his pads. Can get pushed off the ball or get his shoulders turned." Both sites also are very aware of the issues his size comes with. NFL.com says he "struggles to bend and use his hands on cut blocks" and CBS mentioned that Geathers "offers virtually nothing as a pass rusher, showing little flexibility or sustained burst in close areas to close on ball-carriers."
NFL.com projects Geathers as a prospect that will go in the "middle rounds." CBS Sports compares Geathers to Miami Dolphins 2013 "Franchise Player" nose tackle Paul Soliai and projects him as a 5th-6th round pick.
Kwame Geathers is certainly a project at this point in his football career. He offers burst and massive size but seems like he isn't all that comfortable yet with the game. On tape, he shows a surge at the line, a strong tackle ability (ginormous arms) and a real nastiness to his game. He does tend to get buried on tape by the litany of talent around him (Ogletree, Jenkins, Jones, Washington, Rambo, etc.) but he does stick out at times. He can be dominant against the run at times and did a very good job against Barrett Jones in Georgia's game against Alabama. He has a lot of potential but needs to be motivated at the next level or will bounce around the league like middle Geathers brother, Clifton.
If you are asking how a kid this massive could be taken so low (I project him as a 5th round pick), but he clearly has an effort issue at times. Geathers is very large and has trouble getting small, which leaves him susceptible to cut blocks. He also seems to rely to much in being bigger than offensive lineman than he does on improving his technique. He is extremely raw.
As always take a look for yourself, so you can judge Geathers:
Now that you know a bit more about Geathers, are you okay betting on Sopoaga and waiting on nose tackle to have a Geathers family reunion and a potential beast down the road (sorry for the loaded question)?