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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

  • East Caost R8R

    Take a loot at this clip or Gholston just man handling Jake Long.

  • East Caost R8R
  • Thec

    Dakota lol. You missed a good Raider team. Real smash mouth exciting football. Everyone on that team has a personality. with weopons on both sides of the ball.

  • Dakota
  • r8r4fer

    If the dolphins are going to take C Long can’t they just sign him right now since they have the over all 1st pick? Or are they waiting for somebody to make an offer to move up ? Only 3 more weeks to speculate who to take or who not to take.

  • http://disinfo.com RaiderTW

    Yeah Dakota, if tou missed Otis Sistrunk, Ted Hendricks, Jack Tatum, Ben Davidson on the same defense you missed something real special. Even Rob Ryan couldn’t jack that team up!!! Len Dawson still hates Ben Davidson for that hit he took. Does anyone know that Ben Davidson was in the famous porno “Behind the Green Door”?

  • Dakota

    Poor LTs, they win 30 out of 31 battles with a player on any given game-day and people just look at the one play where they failed, lol.

  • r8r4fer

    Davidson did another porn flick cohnan the barbarian

  • Dakota

    Interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Davidson

    “He has appeared in a few films including M*A*S*H and Conan the Barbarian. He portrayed Porter the Bouncer in Behind the Green Door. He also played a convict football player in Necessary Roughness. He also played himself in a Miller Lite ad featuring John Madden and Rodney Dangerfield.”

  • M

    Greatest version of the national anthem I ever heard. Oak Coliseum. Lou Rawls. Man! (’72, on or about)

  • Tay

    With the 4th pick, we dont need to agonize over the pick. The pick will pretty much be made for us, with whoever is left. Regardless we should end up with a servicable D Lineman.

    My favorite hands down is C. Long. Watching that guys gets me fired up. If hes still on the Board than its a no brainer.

  • r8r4fer

    I met big Ben in Pleasanton at a little gym at the fair grounds and he was riding his bike there and the bike had to be at least 5ft high what an imposing figure

  • Dakota

    M,

    This one gets my vote for best national anthem, lol:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcgRBkT69L8

  • http://none Bob Marley

    Looks like Jerry is having a live blog today and he did not invite us……..

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/raiders/ci_8772559?nclick_check=1

  • http://none Bob Marley

    Maybe he´s had with us….pending upon schedule, I´m showing up anyways…lol.

  • Quagmire’d

    hey Bob, that link doesn’t work…

  • http://disinfo.com RaiderTW

    The Raiders lead the league in actors: John Matuzak/B. Davidson/Bubba Smith/Lyle Alzado/romanowski/John Madden
    I know there is more, who else?

    Broncos: lead the league in wife beaters.

  • Raider Buck

    Don’t forget Howie doing all the Chevy Commercials!

  • http://disinfo.com RaiderTW

    Howie Long

  • http://disinfo.com RaiderTW

    H Long: Firestorm.
    Wow, Otis Sistrunk was in carwash!! Also something called Doc Hooker’s Bunch [TV]

  • Dakota
  • http://none Bo Jackson’s Hip

    It doesn’t matter who we Draft.

    COOOOOAAAAACCCCCHHHHHIIIINNNNNGGGGGG!!!!

    Coaching and Chemistry.

    Trust in your teammates….being unselfish. Doing your job!!!

  • r8r4fer

    you forgot Carl Weathers in the Rocky movies and Preditor

  • r8r4fer

    Stopping the run is the only thing that will improve this team,after that everything else will be easy.

  • http://none Bob Marley

    Quagmired..

    Sorry about that, just go to the contra costa times raiders section and in the left column you´ll find a link that says inside the raiders live blog.

  • http://none Bo Jackson’s Hip

    GET TO THA CHOPPA!!!

  • http://FixtheboldJerry Terrapin

    Huh…check out the Cowgirls NT: Jay Ratliff > 6’4″ 298lbs. Cowgirls ranked 6th vs run last year. Just saying.

    & the Swedish Blue Birds (re: those hideous canary unis): Mike Patterson (DT) 6’0″ 292lbs, Brodrick Bunkle (DT) 6’2″ 306lbs. Swedish Blue Birds ranked 7th vs run in ’07. Just saying.

    If the player can play NT the player can play NT.

  • Raider Glory

    LOL!!

    Let me guess???

    Predator!!

  • r8r4fer

    278….Arnold heading out of Sacramento

  • Dakota

    You’re one ugly mothafaaacker!

  • Dakota

    If it bleeds, we can kill it.

  • http://FixtheboldJerry Terrapin

    If this team even whiffs at a top 10 ranking vs the run next year assuming a slightly better offense the Ws sould follow big time. This team can be so close if things are done right.

  • Dakota

    Predator II sucked.

  • r8r4fer

    That movie inspired a lot the hair styles you now see in most of the nfl secondary.

  • Thec

    being taller than 6’1″ has nothing to do with stopping the run. Ellis is the real deal. Ellis > dorsey. Ellis if he wanted to could compete in body building. I honeslty doubt dorsey is stronger. Who had the best game in the senior bowl. Ellis is the mad hands down. he can play 3 or 4 teq. We need to stop the run, and we need a pass rusher. Take the best avail between C. log, S. Ellis.

  • http://FixtheboldJerry Terrapin

    FA signings and the wheeling and dealing may not be over for the Raiders yet, but assuming everything remains constant heading into the draft I’m looking for the following to happen:

    Draft DE to start
    Draft NT to potentially start
    Draft LT to compete with Harris

    Anything else is a bonus.

  • r8r4fer

    I don’t worry about ranking in run stopping in the nfl as much as within the division. That is the main problem.

  • Chris in NY

    I’d love it if the Raiders could draft Long. On top of the Howie connection, he seems like the type of guy who will inspire his teammates to work harder and thus make the entire unit better. Also, his athleticism is highly underrated. He’s not just a hard worker. He’s a great athlete too. Having said all that, I can’t imagine why he’d be available at No. 4. I wonder if the Raiders have given any thought to trading up to No. 1. I highly doubt it, but it’s clear Al is putting all his chips in the center of the table this off-season. Good for him.
    I predict Gholston will be the pick … if the Raiders stay put.

  • ray wright

    post #263 is awesome lol hahaha

  • http://none Bob Marley

    Useful tip….

    Go to usatoday.com sports, look for the top 500 elegible players database and click on the players you want to get the scouting report.

    Very complete and the info comes from nfldraftscout.com which IMO is the best of such sites out there, they charge for most of their info but you can get the general overview from the usa today page for free.

  • ray wright

    i like gholston hes a stud!!!!!!! but if little howie isnt there davis will draft dmac i just know it

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder
  • r8r4fer

    I doubt the Tuna passes on Cris Long, he seems to draft defensive players when rebuilding a franchise

  • http://none Bob Marley

    It includes a player comparison-projection, not exact matches they say but more like similarities….

    Sedrick Ellis compares to La’Roi Glover
    Glenn Dorsey to Warren Sapp
    Chris Long to Aaron Kampman
    Darren McFadden to Marshall Faulk

    To name a few…

    The most complete info that I have been able to find out there.

  • http://FixtheboldJerry Terrapin

    Chris Long could fall. Miami could go J.Long or M.Ryan or even Gholston. SLouis – I’ve read their fans say they’ll likely draft a DT to push Carriker back out to DE – as they say is his natural position (Dorsey/Ellis?). And Atlanta could chose anyone but their head coach is a big time line freak from Jax so I’ve read. Believe it or not Chris could fall right in our laps. You never know.

  • http://disinfo.com RaiderTW

    Has anyone heard of a Sean Penn movie called The Inian Runner? It had Kenny Stabler in it !!!!!

    1991
    David Morse
    Viggo Mortensen
    Valeria Golino
    Patricia Arquette
    Charles Bronson
    Sandy Dennis
    Dennis Hopper
    Benicio Del Toro

  • Chris in NY

    I think C. Long could be just as good as Howie. Kampman’s a good player, but I think Long could be considerably better than that.

  • Dakota

    Exla,

    #292…UNREAL!

    Ma’am, we are not going to send deputies down there to enforce your Western Bacon Cheese Burger!

    CLASSIC!

    I am sending that one to everyone I know, lol.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder
  • Skullator

    I think the Dolphins Taking Gholston and the Raiders Taking Long would be a win – win for everyone I mean the AFC west is Is dominated by top running backs and the AFC east is Only a one team race with the Patriots who obviously like to throw the ball. Only Problem I just don’t see Gholston getting the big 1st pick contract. I’m Still holding out hope the Dolphins will trade down.