Dalvin Tomlinson certainly has a future in the NFL as a defensive lineman. That goes without saying. The New York Giants second round pick is likely to be a starter in his rookie season, but he also might have a future in Major League Soccer.
A four-star recruit out of McDonough, Georgia, in high school, Tomlinson was one of the top 150 high school players in the nation according to Rivals.com.
He wrestled, not uncommon for football players. But he also was a soccer player; a bit of a shock given that he played defensive lineman his senior season of high school.
That position in (American) football isn’t exactly synonymous with being fleet of foot and graceful, which are the attributes needed to be a star soccer player.
He was a goalkeeper and also a striker, all 6-foot-2- and 270 pounds of him, while in high school, making him arguably the most intimidating target forward anyone could imagine.
Football was in the fall, but wrestling and soccer were in the spring.
Surprisingly, he was far from a bull in a china shop when it came to soccer.
“I didn’t pick up any [red cards] in a few years. I’m surprised just like you are,” Tomlinson said following his second round selection by the Giants. “I thought I was going to get a lot more red cards.”
It is a unique blend of athleticism and skill that makes him some an intriguing draft pick for the Giants.
He now is 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, having started at Alabama for one season in 2016. He had 62 tackles and three sacks last season, impressive numbers considering he had the thankless job of clogging up the middle in the two-gap within the Crimson Tide’s 3-4 defense.
He comes into a defensive line that last year was among the best in the NFL, featuring Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon on the edges and Damon Harrison at defensive tackle, arguably one of the best in the game in the interior.
Tomlinson will be expected to come in and replace Johnathan Hankins next to Harrison.
“I haven’t gotten to meet them personally but I’m pretty sure when we get there we’re going to have a pretty good relationship and build an even stronger brotherhood,” Tomlinson said. “They’re going to mentor me and become a better defensive line.”
While there doesn’t appear to be any footage of him scoring goals in high school, he’s absolutely dominant here in the wrestling tournament in high school: