Cal Football Video: Defensive Lineman Chris Palmer's 40-Yard Dash During Pro Day

The big nose tackle was a key to stopping the run in 2018

Nose tackle Chris Palmer did not get a lot of kudos during the 2018 season; nose tackles seldom do. His importance might be reflected in in 2019 when his absence is noticed.

The 6-foot-2 Palmer played at about 335 pounds last season, and he was instrumental in taking on blocks and holding the line so that others could make tackles on the run. He was a run-stuffer. He had 30 total tackles last season, including two tackles for loss and one sack. But he also knocked down six passes.

Whether the NFL scouts see him as a useful run-stuffer remains to be seen.

Palmer is not even listed in the database, so there is virtually no chance he will be drafted. He would need to go to a team that plays a 3-4 defense and needs a big nose tackle at the point of its defense to take up blockers and hold the line.

Palmer moves pretty well for a big man, but he will need to do more than that to get a look from NFL scouts.

Cal has no one comparable to Palmer in size to take over the position he occupied last season. Luc Bequette and Zeande Johnson return as starters at the defensive end spots, but the Bears are still looking for a nose tackle. It might well be Aaron Maldonado, but he is about 50 pounds lighter than Palmer and would be a very different kind of nose tackle from his predecessor.