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C. Long vs. Gholston

Third in a series regarding players the Raiders are evaluating as the NFL draft approaches April 26-27. The Raiders currently hold the No. 4 pick in the first round.

So let’s assume for the moment that Lane Kiffin was dead serious when he told the media of his wish for a defensive lineman with the No. 4 pick.

Unless they were to move down, the Raiders would be assured of having a shot at one of the top four defensive linemen available. Two of those, defensive tackles Glenn Dorsey of LSU and Sedrick Ellis of USC, were discussed earlier.

The other two are Virginia’s Chris Long (6-foot-3, 267 pounds) and Ohio State’s Vernon Gholston (6-3, 266), who unlike Dorsey and Ellis, are potentially explosive edge players. Both player soften played as outside linebackers but with the versatility to put their hand on the ground.

Long, son of Raiders Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, would be the nostaligic choice. He had 14 sacks and 23 quarterback pressures as a senior and plays every down from snap to whistle with equal parts intensity and enthusiasm.

“I don’t think of myself as doing anything extraordinary with my effort,” Long said at the NFL scouting combine. “ I think that’s just the way football is supposed to be played, at a high speed. I’m not a guy who does things half-speed well. So it’s been pretty natural for me to go that fast. You want to jump off the screen when people watch film of you.”

There’s a theory that Al Davis won’t be able to pass up a chance on a legacy _ particularly one with such a glowing resume as Long. Assuming Long makes a visit to Oakland before the draft, it would be the first meeting since Long was a child.

“My earliest memory of Al Davis was ducking in the car when I came to visit my dad at training camp because there were no families allowed in,” Long said. “I remember meeting him when I was a kid, but I have not seen him since.”

If Long is regarded as a relatively “safe” pick because of his knowledge, intangibles and desire, Gholston may have the more intriguing top end.

Like Long, Gholston can play either end or outside linebacker, with his “Leo” position at Ohio State giving him an opportunity as a rush end. He had 14 sacks as a senior, 8.5 as a junior and his stock has been on the rise.

NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan recently had Gholston as the No. 1 overall pick, going to the Miami Dolphins. In a copycat league, the New York Giants’ ability to pressure Tom Brady in the Super Bowl will only enhance the ability of the most explosive pass rusher in the draft.

“I know how big the defensive line is. If you got a front four that can controlcthe game, you’re destined for championships,” Gholston said. “That was proven, the way they (the Giants) were able to take advantage of their speed and get to the quarterback.”

If there is a player capable of duplicating the sort of rookie success as an outside rusher as Shawne Merriman did with San Diego and DeMarcus Ware did with the Cowboys, Gholston is it.

He also may be the most stunning physical specimen in the draft, with a 4.58 40-yard dash on his pro day on field turf and 37 reps of 225 pounds with the bench press.

Defensive linemen on roster: DE Derrick Burgess, DT Tommy Kelly, DT Terdell Sands, DE Jay Richardson, DT Gerard Warren, DT Josh Shaw, DT William Joseph, DE Kalimba Edwards.

Burgess had to close with a rush to get to eight sacks, getting a late start in training camp because of hernia surgery and missing time with a calf injury early in the year. His sack numbers have regressed from 16 to 11 to 8 the past three seasons. Kelly’s contract says big things are expected of him.

“He’ll have a chance to be a three-technique and not jump around to a lot of different positions,” Kiffin said. “He’s got a lot to prove with that contract.”

Sands signed a big deal last season to prevent him from going into free agency, and he was essentially a non-factor. The Raiders will look to get him back to the form he had in 2007 when he played well enough to merit the big deal. Warren played well in spurts, much as he has in Cleveland and Denver. Richardson, a college teammate of Gholston, was a pleasant surprise as a fifth-round draft pick. Edwards ideally will replace the departed Chris Clemons, who had eight sacks as a third-down pass rusher.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Raider Buck

    Who was the guy that played “Hunter” in that ’80′s TV series? Wasn’t he a Raider?

    For the life of me I can’t think of his name!

  • OAKlifer

    Does anyone read BSPN draft conversations its a joke what is up with the black hole across the us they come up with some weird shiiiit and there is some mucjh bogus stuff on there as well as some good opions anyways GOODMORN nation!!!1

  • Thec

    the dude that played on that show was a ram

  • Dakota

    Exla,

    4 days! I had that problem in high school, but no pills were involved, lol.

    This might have solved the problem without having to alert the authorities:

    http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/4513/cfooderof2.jpg

  • Thec

    Hunter – fred Dryer LA rams

  • Dakota

    Speaking of Ben Davidson, Porn and Hunter, how does it go, to get your porn name you add your first pet’s name to your first address or something like that?

    If so mine would be…..Hunter Chicago.

  • http://disinfo.com RaiderTW

    Mine would be Smoky Peiffer. hahaha

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Dakota,
    I quess there are certain words that trip the moderator. My last post did it. I suppose you can mess up this blog by using others names but can’t mention dysfunction pills.

  • Dakota

    ExLa,

    Yeah, I tried to mention the blue pill once before and got nailed for it, lol.

  • Skullator

    Mine would be Bozer Bruce, now thats pimp.

  • Raider Buck

    Oh man thank you! I’m at work and was going nuts, but now I feel better. Fred Dryer.
    :)

  • CopenhagenFan

    “La Jolla Shores Dr.” would be a horrible last name for a porn star Dakota ha ha

  • DoeDoe

    What It Doo Nation

    If youll dont know already, Jerry McDonald gonna be on in 20 mintues to have a live chat with all of us – so get you’re questions ready

  • CopenhagenFan

    Fred Dryer was a great player….he played DE at like 220 lbs.

    Those were the days when you could also have a DE like Jim Marshall who played at 6´1 and 235 pounds. Art Shell ate him for breakfast in the super bowl!

  • M.I.A. Raiders

    Whats up everyone!

  • Raider Dave

    You guys are foregeting the best Raider actor of all time- Linebacker Carl Weathers A.K.A Apollo Creed

  • M.I.A. Raiders

    Jerry answered one of my questions! Boo Ya!

  • PA Raider

    What if we drafted dorsey or Ellis and tried to move them to the “elephant” DE position and kept Kelly at the undertackle position. I think we need to draft def. but I just wished the tacles were more NT types.

  • eric

    Naw I think it would be fascinating if we pulled off a trade of fabian washington dominic rhodes/ or jordan, a 4th round pic and next years second for chad johnson. And with the 1st pic draft mcfadden. So on o that would leave us with johnson, walker and curry at wideout, mcfadden ,fargas, and bush at back, with miller and madsen at tight end, to go along with griffith and oneal at fb. To go along with our revamped d. On paper i’d give us at least 11-5. With all the media groupies on our jock.(; sounds sweet huh?

  • SilverNBlack

    ERIC:

    YEAH, THAT WOULD BE AWESOME, BUT I THINK WE GOT A BETTER CHANCE OF JOHN MADDEN COMING OUT OF RETIREMENT AND COACHING THE RAIDERS AGAIN THAN PULLING OFF THAT TRADE FOR JOHNSON.

  • Die Hard Raider from L.A.

    I agree with a lot of what you say, JediRaider, about our defensive line and what we should do in the draft. You make some very good points about the best way to stop the run. Let’s hope someone in the Raider draft board room is listening.

  • Lowdown in Beijing

    Smokescreen??

    “I’d like more linemen…”????

    Sounds more like Kiffin vs. Davis… a case of “I want” vs. what he (Davis) wants.

    All you smokescreen experts have enhaled too much smoke.

    Attention NFL Shoppers: Al Davis to trade Burgess (and his tiny winy contract that has NOT been RESTRUCTURED or recently signed to a big contract), Washington, Rhoades (restructured), and Schweigert.

    Burgess lands us no less than a 2nd round pick, Rhoades a 3rd, Washington a 3rd, and Schweigert a 5th.

    As much as I hate to say it, Al goes after RunDMC (musch to my dismay) then picks up a MLB (run stuffer) and DE and DT in subsequent rounds.

  • Mo sec 142

    isn’t anyone monitoring these posts? These are really bad!

  • DSM Raider

    I haven’t posted as often as normal as I’ve been studying, but I’ve read a lot of posts and it’s quite funny how I described DMac and how we could use him in the Reggie role in Kiffin’s offense and several people including Turtle and BHP called me freakin nuts for my desire to bring him on board.

    Kiffin confirms my beliefs on how we would use him and people thought I was crazy for his ability to be used in the offense, in a “two-headed RB monster” ala Reggie & LenDale White at USC.

    Dakota and I have been on the ‘wagon before our season even ended and have been ridiculed for our “ridiculous love” for him meanwhile Bob Marley, Tomm Trojan, among others have joined the bandwagon.

    Remember, I’ve always been for Chris Long first but I believe there’s no way in hell St Louis will pass on him if Miami does so it’s DMac and MB time.

  • http://comcast dave

    Hey guys all this talk about a a dline man is nice but I
    will bet my house that dfad will be our pick i know we
    just re signed fargas and rhodes but big Al is not going to let this barn burner bye. Is it logical no put hey were raider fans there is no logic

  • Tommy Trojan

    you can find good lineman just about anywhere in the draft in any draft, but you can only find a player like mcfadden at the top of the draft, and only in certain drafts(how many years between LT and AP were drafted? and between LT and barry? and between barry and OJ?), but we don’t plan on being at the top of the draft next year, or any time soon, so let’s take the superstar, all-world offensive player while we have the chance, our O and D lines are adequate, they’re not good enough to win us any games on their own but not bad enough to lose us any games on their own, and we have pretty good WRs and what we believe will be an all-world QB, we have the best secondary i the NFL and one of the best LB cores, there will no be another mcfadden for who knows how long, but i can guarrantee that we can solidify either our O or our D line with our first next year, and we do have four picks available after #4, so we should take mcfadden while we can…

  • Tommy Trojan

    a decent DL with great players behind them suddenly becomes a very good DL, and an adequate OL in it’s second year under cable with several key new additions and better skill position players suddenly becomes a good OL, factor in the additions we have made to each line, they’re not blockbusters but they’re solid signings, factor in that burges and kelly will be healthy next year and thathall is a drastic improvement over washington and that wilson is one of the best run defenders of all NFL S’s, and that he is also a general playmaker, , factor in that russell will have a year of practice and study and an entire offseason to prepare and that better recievers will be open sooner and the OL will need to block less, but they’re already better, this team looks like a playoff team, not a legit title contender but a lock to be in the wildcard discussion next year…how many holes do we really have, we have a QB, we are good at RB, we are two deep with very good FBs, we have a good TE, we have decent WRs, he have two good Gs, we have two capable starters at C, we have two decent starters at RT, we have a need at LT although we appear to have decent players contending for the job, we have an elite DE and a good DT, we have multiple options at the other DT spot and several capable of starting but it is arguably our greatest need, or you could argue that a bookend is our greatest need although we have a decent run option and a decent pass rush option in rotational roles, we are set with two pro bowl LBs and two adequate starters at LB, our secondary is great from top to bottom, a great coverage S a great run defense/hart hitter/playmaker, and we have two elite cover corners, one who also a playmaker, so for all the cynics and pessimists…we have 3(DT, DE, LT) real needs and our OLB and and WR spots arguably could use some improvement, but all of our needs already have what are rotational options/arguably adequate starters/quality depth, this team is capable of winning, regardless of who we draft, if Russell is half of what we drafted him to be this season then we will make the playoffs…

  • SNOOPY

    Mc FAD-den, Mc FAD-den, Mc FAD-den. you all make good sence and thou this is my feeling I’m still not buying it…

    Except for one little thing Kiffen said that is bothering me. He said that they were NOT going after a running back… WHAAAAAA???

    Lane is too smart for that. you never say that even if it’s true. At this point it could be anything like a lil misdirection…

    Maybe they want McFAD-den and believe someone above will take him? Or NOT?

    The thing that intrigues me is that he said it and Lane is a smart SOB guys…

    Frankly I can’t wait to find out. I’ll say this, Al’s making this off season very interesting…

    Hopefully, the season turns out to be as much fun…

    Oh and what’s with all of these recipes?!?!?!?! The CHEF’s blog is elsewhere…

    I try not to be negative especially with fellow RAIDER FANS so please guys… this ain’t the place…

    GO RAIDERS!!!!!!

  • RaiderKC

    I think Kiff was being coy to ward off Jerry or the Jets from trading up. There are still some descent DT out there in FA or if we can get a 2nd and 3rd or 3 and 4th for some of our baggage then Al will pick DMac (in for visit soon), then a OT in 2nd or 3rd, DT/LB in 3rd or 4th, and a QB in the 6th or 7th. If we can get LSU’s QB in the 6th or 7th as #3 on the depth chart that would be great. Then hopefully next year Al can trade Walter for a 3rd or 4th round pick to make up for that lost 5th round to ATL.

  • Mr.Murder

    Gholston is horrid, Delawrence Grant 2.0, please keep him far from this team.

  • OG

    Great Article On Darren McFadden!!!!!!!! and Raiders..

    http://bigbenlivingroom.blogspot.com/

  • CJ Legend #34

    Someone answer one question for me. Besides Chris Long having the last name Long like the legendary Howie Long, lets just say theoretically if his name was Chris Jones. What makes him so great? Would the Raider nation want the guy if he was named Chris Jones? It just sounds like we are getting caught up in this he is a Legend like his Dad thing and this is coming from a guy who wants to see McFadden wearing #34 in honor of the old Bo Jackson taking it to the house 6.5 yards a pop days. ha ha ha LOL!!!!! If Long gets 12 solo sacks this year (great season)that is less than the Raiders totaled last year and what was our record? Come on Raider nation we need a home run hitter!!!!

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