Summary: Gilmore was a highly recruited player who showed moments of brilliance in his career at South Carolina. He broke out in 2010 with 79 tackles, three interceptions, three sacks and six tackles for a loss. Gilmore is a playmaker who showed a nice mix of speed and physicality.
In his final collegiate season in 2011, Gilmore was inconsistent. He made some great plays, followed by some gaffes. There were good games and bad games for Gilmore even though he played on a talented defense with a great front four.
Gilmore has an ideal skill set with his size and speed. He will be better off in a zone-based system that gives him some help. He may not have the agility to be a bump-and-run corner in a man-based scheme.
There are definitely tools for an NFL coaching staff to work with. Gilmore has a lot of upside, and if he lands with the correct team with the right coaching he could be a special player. Because of his inconsistency, he looks like an early second-round pick, but he could sneak into the end of the first round if performs well at the scouting combine.
Player Comparison: Chris Gamble. Gamble was the 28th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has been a quality corner for the Panthers, though he has occasionally been mired by inconsistency. Gilmore has comparable size to Gamble (6-1, 200) and their skill sets are similar. If he has a big Combine performance, some teams could consider Gilmore for a pick in the same range that Gamble went. If not, he likely will be a second-day pick.
NFL Matches: San Francisco, Green Bay, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Carolina
The 49ers and Packers could use cornerback help, and Gilmore could be an option for them if he proves to be worthy of a first-round pick. There are a lot of teams in the second round that could be a fit for Gilmore. The Colts, Rams, Bucs, Jaguars and Panthers all need cornerback help and have top-50 selections. Given the demand at the position, Gilmore should be a near lock for the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft.