A Strong Combine Is Needed For Alohi Gilman

Bryan Driskell

The final day of the NFL Scouting Combine will have the secondary players on display. Notre Dame will have three former players working out in hopes of making a strong impression with NFL scouts, coaches and executives.

I have already broken down what’s at stake for Troy Pride Jr. and Jalen Elliott, now it’s time to discuss team captain Alohi Gilman.


Height: 5-10 1/2
Weight: 201
Hometown/High School: Laie, Hawaii / Kahuku

2019 Stats: 74 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2 break ups, 1 interception
Career Stats: 244 tackles, 11.0 TFL’s, 12 break ups, 3 interceptions

* Career stats include 2016 production at Navy

Overview: Gilman began his career at Navy, registering 76 tackles, five tackles for loss and five pass break ups as a freshman with the Midshipmen. He recorded a season-high 12 tackles in a 28-27 win over Notre Dame.

Following that season, Gilman decided to transfer to Notre Dame. After sitting out the 2017 season, Gilman stepped into the starting lineup and was a key part of the outstanding 2018 defense that fueled a 12-0 regular season. Gilman registered 94 tackles, five pass break ups and two interceptions.

Beyond the production, Gilman proved himself to be a clutch player for the Irish. It seemed when a play needed to be made it was either Gilman or end Khalid Kareem that stepped up and got the job done. Whether it was a clutch second half break up in the end zone against Michigan, a strip of a Vanderbilt ball carrier just inches short of the goal line or a pair of crucial interceptions against Syracuse, Gilman seemed to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

Gilman earned second-team All-American honors from Pro Football Focus following that 2018 season.

As a senior, Gilman was put in more of a box safety situation. Early in the season he struggled with assignments at times and his tackling was inconsistent, with PFF having him with 10 missed tackles in the first six games. Gilman was listed with just four missed tackles in 2018, so that was a shift from what he had done.

He settled in during the second half of the season and was back to his playmaking self. PFF had Gilman listed with just four missed tackles in the final seven games.

What’s At Stake: Gilman was off to a quality start at the Senior Bowl before a hamstring injury forced him to miss the final two practices and the game. The combine will be a chance for him to answer some of the questions about his athleticism.

Gilman is an incredibly smart and instinctive player, and I’m confident scouts are going to love his game. They are going to love his leadership, character and attitude, but talking to different sources and reading the analysis that is out there it would seem some question his athleticism. Coverage also wasn’t something he was asked to do as much at Notre Dame, and his numbers in coverage weren’t great this season.

Gilman measured in at just 5-10 1/2 and 201 pounds, which is about average for a safety. The issue is he lacks length, and he finished in the bottom half of the safeties in arm length and wingspan. That lack of length cannot be combined with average athleticism, which means Gilman needs to put up very good numbers in the on-field testing.

If Gilman can post good explosiveness numbers (40-time, vertical, broad jump) and good change of direction times (shuttles, cone drills) it will help overcome his lack of length when it comes to evaluating his game. A player like Gilman, with his toughness, intelligence, leadership and playmaking ability, can overcome a lack of size if he can move well.

Gilman moves well on film, which allows him to close on the football quite well. If that combines with good testing and explosiveness it will boost his stock.