Raji report complicates matters


CNN-SI is reporting Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji tested positive for drugs at the NFL scouting combine and that teams were already aware he had tested positive for marijuana at Boston College.

There are some mock drafts, including one by former Raider exec Mike Lombardi, which have the Raiders taking Raji in an effort to shore up the NFL’s 31st-ranked rushing defense.

Drug test stories always make me a little uncomfortable. It’s a mine field fraught with the possibility of error, with those who want to float information for their own purposes and reporters eager to be the first to a story.

I’ve heard rumors before, but nothing close to the reporting stage. Frankly, without the drug test directly in front of me so I could see it with my own eyes (and someone who could help me understand what I was looking at), I’d just as soon take a pass.

It’s like one of those occasions where I run into a Raiders player out on the town during a road trip. “You going to write about this?,” they’ll sometimes ask.

My answer?

“Not unless you wind up on a police blotter. Then I’ve got no choice.”

Listen to Warren Sapp talk about how he was linked to cocaine by ESPN, a story which caused him to fall in the first round. Charlie Garner, an affable sort, never did truly trust the media again after a false report in a Philadelphia newspaper chronicled a positive drug test for marijuana.

It usually turns out that most of the stories linking athletes to drugs are true. The NFL seems to have a pipeline regarding its allegedly anonymous drug and steroid program which runs straight to ESPN, Fox, etc.

It makes the league look as if it is serious in cleaning up the problem.

Whether Raji truly has a problem or not, or whether he ever failed a test, is not known.

But it’s out there now, and it could cost him. I’m sure there are teams that fully realize there are players who may go Michael Phelps from time to time, and they’re more worried about the positive test and the negative spin then they are the fact that the drug was actually consumed.

The Raiders are known for going their own way and not concerning themselves with what people think. They had the information anyway. The story alone isn’t going to alter their perception.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Kirk

    New reality show….

    Al Davis: It’s Complicated

  • Did it just get stupider in here??? Yup. Mistabrown somehow slithered in. For everyone who thought registration would somehow improve the blog, mistabrown being here is proof that crap will somehow still get thru.

    Mistabrown Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Signing a punk with no character to lead your franchise is a great move! I’m sure his new teammates are ecstatic. Nice WR group waiting for Jay in Chi.
    Actually, getting a pro bowl QB is always something most franchises would want. Of course you once again prove you know absolutely nothing about anything. The only thing you have ever proven mistabrown is the more the speak, the stupider you sound. LMFAO.

  • Mistabrown Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I have a better idea. Leave Fargas out of the mix

    As if this guy couldn’t get any stupider, obviously he did not know Justin Fargas and Nnamdi Asomugha were voted the Commitment to Excellence Award by their own teammates and coaches at the awards ceremony a couple of weeks ago. Fargas exhibits everything you would want in a team mate and he is a perfect role model for what the young backs should emulate and model themselves to become excellent pros. But of course mistabrown, you somehow know more about the game of football than 53 NFL players and dozens of coaches that have been around the game their entire lives. What a complete fukking moron.

  • Where’d that idiot go?? He must have wandered down to Walgreens to load up on some more stupid pills. Mistabrown thinks those pills give him super power to be ultra stupid. He’s right.

  • Mistabrown, report his personal insults to the mods. Once his name is banned, it’s gone. Nobody can use it again.

  • SILVRnBLKfeathers

    Have we all forgotton about Kirk Morisson? He was the top LB in the draft his year and he also tested positive for marajuana and his stock level dropped and we stole him in the 3rd round. I see deja-vu all over again for Raji.

  • Mad Road Dog

    The Raiders have plenty of very good receivers already onboard, what they do not have is an “O” line that can sustain the run or provide JR the protection to grow. It’s hard to be accurate when you are constantly pressured and running for your life.

    The Raiders need a dominant “O” line before they draft any more primadonna at the WR position. Go back and look at Henderson at LT the last three games. He is too slow and not athletic enough to play that position against the better teams. The Raiders gave him help the few times they ran to the left and mostly ran to the right side or JR rolled right on a pass.

    Khalif Barnes is a reject from the Jaguars and Al Davis knows this, that’s why he only got a one year contract.

    Samson Satele is inferior talent compared to Jake Grove at center that is why he was cut loose by Parcels and we got him for cheap.

    Carlisle is a reject from Denver and though just OK still gets planted by the bigger NTs.

    Grove is a good run blocker but a terrible pass blocker and probably will be facing a suspension for domestic violence.

    Pears lost his starting job in Denver before he was out all last year for his surgery.

    The ZBS is not a panacea for mediocre linemen thats why Al Davis told Cable he wanted more “O” linmen with power.

    The defensive line needs upgrading too but the “D” players never reached their real potential due to Rob Ryan’s poor coaching and schemes. Plus the the “D” will benfit from a balanced “O” that can run and pass the ball.

    Finally, the Raiders will benefit more by drafting an “O” lineman #7, preferably Andre Smith, the tackle in the draft. Andre Smith is the same size as Khalif Barnes and when you watch his tape, he is dominant against both the run and pass. Take Brace at DT in the 2nd who fits in better with our existing “D” crew and then Brinkley at MLB in the 3rd. Get a SS or DE with the 4th pick.

  • 818Raider

    Trade down and pick Raji later. It worked out well for Tampa and Sapp a few years ago. I wish we could get a receiver but whoever posted earlier that receivers usually don’t work out high in the draft is right. I guess there are a lot of DTackles picked high that don’t work out either. So I don’t know what to do. Trade down, take Raji, maybe pick up one of those picks we had to swipe out earlier.

  • 818Raider

    I agree with Mad Road Dog also. I think you can never have too many offensive linemen. Except our defense is just so horrible that I think we’d have to go D Tackle. I’d prefer that we pick nothing but offensive and defense linemen for all of our picks. Hopefully we can strike gold late in the draft on some of them.

  • Raider Dell

    Raider Dell Says:
    April 7th, 2009 at 12:55 pm
    SnB Defense Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 1:31 pm
    The positive drug test is disappointing and shows poor judgement and character. I have to be real here. Drug tests are a big red flag. Although, Warren Sapp was an idiot too.

    Therefore, I can understand passing on Raji now.

    However, the Raiders should be targeting Monroe, J. Smith or Michael Oher with the number 7 pick. Possibly look at trading down.

    Let’s look at some more.

    SnB Defense Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 4:20 pm
    Raider Nation 951 Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 4:14 pm
    I wouldn’t be upset with Brace. I would rather have him than Raji.
    I am no longer on the Raji at #7 bandwagon. A failed drug test that late in the process is unacceptable. But Raji getting drafted does not change the deplorable situation on the D-Line.

    SnB Defense Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 5:33 pm
    I agree with everyone that Raji can no longer be the pick at 7. That is very unfortunate. Some team later in the draft is going to get a steal. But character counts and the number 7 money is too high to roll the dice like that.

    The Raiders still need lineman. Linebackers are not going to help this defense. As you saw in those clips, the DTs were single manned and the linebackers were getting mauled by guards and tackles getting to the second level.

    1. Tyson Jackson DE, LSU – A little bit of a reach but they need someone to close the outside.

    2. Ron Brace DT, BC – A big body that we need to replace Sands/Warren..

    3. Jasper Brinkley LB, South Car…Compete with Morrison inside and provide talent as SLB

    4. David Bruton, S, Notre Dame…big safety with speed