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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.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • SnB Defense

    raidersince87 Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 5:58 pm
    i had to stop watching the atlanta film, i couldnt take it anymore
    =======================================================
    Yeah, its painful to watch. And that’s only a taste of it. I will not put anymore film up there for review. Just goes to show that this D-Line is atrocious. Linebackers are getting worked over on each play, DT’s getting single blocked, shoot I didn’t even show the Ravens highlight where Warren gets stood up by a running back.

    If the Raiders don’t come out of this draft with at least one guy named Tyson Jackson, Ron Brace or Jarron Gilbert…..it will be more of the same in 2009!

  • http://atm Raider O

    That’s what I hear 951, and that’s why I want to go. My wife is not a sports fan, and the Raider Fans I know, can’t make the games.

    Later Nation.

  • raidersince87

    if we draft wr at #7, all those guys could potentially be gone by the 2nd round

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Jay Cutler just got shipped to the Bears. Good for them. It’s a good deal for Chicago.

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=1&tag=my%20pool Lynn from Snot

    Getting extra picks for a player or coach doesn’t always turn out to be the smartest move.

  • Chris in NY

    I don’t care so much that Raji may have toked a little, but the stupidity and carelessness of doing it right before the NFL Combine is why I don’t trust this guy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if a guy has motivation/dedication questions there is no way you heap a huge contract on him unless his talent is so astronomical — ala Randy Moss coming out of college — that you simply have to roll the dice. Raji was a borderline top-10 pick before this news. If this report is true, I can’t imagine the Raiders will take him there now:

    1) Rey Maualuga
    2) Michael Crabtree
    2a) Jeremy Maclin

  • Chris in NY

    # SnB Defense Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    The flavor of this set of plays is how our tender DEs got blown off the ball. Look at the size of the holes for Michael Turner. Fix the D-Line!!!!

    http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80c27781

    ———————————-

    How many points did our offense score in that debacle? The only defensive player I like at No. 7 is Maualuga, because he has the chance to be a once-in-a-generation MLB. Otherwise, the offense needs a guy who can move the chains and some more talent on the line.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Good point Lynn

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=1&tag=my%20pool Lynn from Snot

    Maualuga isn’t the answer to the problem on defense plus he is a 2down backer. trade down and get Mack and a safety or D lineman

  • edward teach

    I watched the clips of the Miami and Atlanta games that were posted here. There were some instances of our DTs being beaten, but what I saw for the most part was them holding up their blockers at the line of scrimmage; the problems I saw were defensive ends consistently out of position and virtually no gap responsibility being taken by the linebackers.

    Call me crazy, but the run defense problems seem to be more on the shoulders of the DEs and LBs.

  • SnB Defense

    Chris in NY Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:19 pm
    # SnB Defense Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    The flavor of this set of plays is how our tender DEs got blown off the ball. Look at the size of the holes for Michael Turner. Fix the D-Line!!!!

    http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80c27781

    ———————————-

    How many points did our offense score in that debacle? The only defensive player I like at No. 7 is Maualuga, because he has the chance to be a once-in-a-generation MLB. Otherwise, the offense needs a guy who can move the chains and some more talent on the line.
    =======================================================
    The offense was shut out in this game. Kwame Harris was abused by Abraham, Russell was off and the running game was non-existant.

    That still doesn’t explain why the D-Line got overwhelmed play after play after play.

    Rey Mauluaga is not a once in a generation MLB. If he was, he wouldn’t be projected as a mid to late 1st round pick. He would be up there with Aaron Curry.

  • blackdeath29

    S&B,
    thanks for the video.theirs good and bad in the tape.the bad is are DL is not very good.the good is ryan scheme is not the best for the personel they have.the outside runs can be fixed by going to a pro 4-3 under.ryan ran a college 4-3 under.this means all three linebackers play back.this is o.k. if you are the titans or texans they have monster de.when they go 8 in the box the ss lines up with the linebackers,the de slides over the te. so it looks like a high school 4-4.(very hard to run against)weak against the pass but that`s ok because you are in a 8 man front because the opposing team is running the ball down your throat.i think marshall runs a pro 4-3 under.which puts the SLB over the te giving better outside run support.the ss comes down in the box and lines up like a WLB.this looks like a high school 5-3(super hard to run against)weak against the pass but the raiders have aso and c.j so their in good shape.you can run many variations this is basic.but they still will be weak up the middle with the current nt.

  • SnB Defense

    edward teach Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:36 pm
    I watched the clips of the Miami and Atlanta games that were posted here. There were some instances of our DTs being beaten, but what I saw for the most part was them holding up their blockers at the line of scrimmage; the problems I saw were defensive ends consistently out of position and virtually no gap responsibility being taken by the linebackers.

    Call me crazy, but the run defense problems seem to be more on the shoulders of the DEs and LBs.
    =====================================================
    I will call u crazy. The DTs got stood up on single blocks or got pushed out of the way. Too many plays had guards all over the LBs, big gaping running lanes and safeties and corners making tackles. The DEs are garbage too. Especially in the Atlanta game.

  • inonewordraider

    Troy Palamulu was picked 16th, Lofa Tutupu 35th. By the way do you want to pass up on Raji “the next Warren Sapp”? The guy you’ve been touting?

  • SnB Defense

    Blackdeath29,

    Scheme is certainly a problem. Ryan didn’t really have an attacking scheme. It seems the defense waits and react.

    There are adjustments to be made for sure. But in all of those plays I see the DTs getting stood up by single blockers and moved out of the way. Those guys have to be replaced. I don’t care if its a 5th round pick at this point.

  • blackdeath29

    that`s what you get when you draft 3 dt`s in 10 years.none in the first 3 rounds.

  • SnB Defense

    inonewordraider Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:43 pm
    Troy Palamulu was picked 16th, Lofa Tutupu 35th. By the way do you want to pass up on Raji “the next Warren Sapp”? The guy you’ve been touting?
    ======================================================
    The Raiders of the 80′s I would have said screw the drug test. Today not so much. Ilegal drug use to me represents a weakness in character. Hopefully Monroe, Curry or Oher drop to number 7. Otherwise trade down or let the clock run out.

  • inonewordraider

    Orakpo, T Jackson, Raji, Rey, Cushing, Crabtree all good picks @7. Gotta get a run stopping Dlineman and LB in 1st 3 rounds

  • edward teach

    SnB… I would agree that the DTs are not agressive, and should be more combative at the LOS. I just saw the DEs consistently out of position, and Howard and Morrison running backwards instead of filling gaps. A large number of those big runs started up the middle but ended up going off-tackle because the DEs were not where they should have been and the LBs didn’t fill.

    I’m not a defensive coordinator, and I don’t even play one on TV; it’s just what I saw.

  • SnB Defense

    blackdeath29 Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:48 pm
    that`s what you get when you draft 3 dt`s in 10 years.none in the first 3 rounds.
    =====================================================
    NOt an Antajj Hawthorne fan?

  • inonewordraider

    I’ve argued that Raji isn’t gonna be a dominant NT but put him in a rotation with Warren, Kelly, Richardson and even Sands if we wouldn’t cut him after the acquisition would do alot for the 31st ranked run d. Sapp tested positive and look at his career and he’s only 6’2. But if he’s really gonna be suspended for a couple games as someone said earlier (I’m not sure that’s correct) then it’s not worth the 7th pick

  • inonewordraider

    TJackson/Rey in round 1=immediate starting DE or LB
    Brace/Moala in round 2=immediate starting DT
    would give us a very formidable D

  • raiderkoolaid

    Does anyone know if the drug that Raji is suppose to have tested for is Marijuana? Fortunately The Raiders, along with the rest of the NFL team know if the report is true or not. If it is I would surely not draft him that high. A player can’t help you if he is facing suspensions and expulsion from the league.

  • edward teach

    I don’t think Raji can be suspended by the league for his failed test. He’s not yet an NFL player.

  • Dude

    Im typing this slowly so you all can understand it. With Kelly, Sands and Warren around they will NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT draft a DT with either of the first 2 picks. There is no reason to believe ANY of the 3 will be cut, they would have been already. They count for way too big a % of the salary cap and most of all Al thinks these guys can play. They are his guys and are on the famous Al Davis Scholarship Program. Its so simple, yet some of you refuse to stop banging the drum. Yes DL is a BIG problem, the bigger problem is that Al Davis does not see it that way. Period.

  • Dude

    1st round pick WILL be a WR
    2nd pick WILL be a DB.

    Mark it down, in pen….um…cil.

  • Florida Pete

    i believe that Raji did understand that he was going to take a drug test…

    i also believe that Raji felt comfortable with his knowledge of drugs…

    and thought he would pass…

  • Rellik30

    Id take him if he fell to the 2cnd round.

  • blackdeath29

    first round pick is a wr
    second round is a dt or de
    al is feed up with sands.
    third round safety or ol
    forth round safety or ol

  • edward teach

    #428… you’d better hope you have the first pick in the second round.

  • EMRaiders

    Let’s look at what we have done in the offseason.

    We signed 2 Tackles, 1 DT, no S, no LB, (aside from Williams, who we already had, so I’m not counting it) and no WRs.

    This leads me to believe that unless the tackle and DT signings are just a smoke screen to hide our intentions in the draft, we are either going to draft WR, S, or LB with the 7. in that order.
    If Crabtree is still there, I think Al will have a very hard time passing on him. The idea of having the top QB, RB, and WR from the last 3 drafts will be too much for him to pass up. But that’s just my opinion.

    I think the idea of trading with Philly for their mid 20 picks in the first is a good one. We could then select Mack and the S we need. Then draft a DT with our 2nd round pick, and maybe pull some kind of trade with Fargas and late picks to get back in the second round and select Heyward-Bey. Just a thought…
    This way we have addressed all major needs in the first 2 rounds. Then with our 3rd rounder we can get a LB or T, and with the 4th rounder get whatever else we have left. It’s just an idea…

  • Kirk

    Here is a good analysis of our draft possiblities…..

    http://www.examiner.com/x-514-Oakland-Raiders-Examiner~y2009m3d31-Multple-draft-scenarios-for-the-Oakland-Raiders

    Basically it boils down to a wide receiver, a defensive lineman, and a safety.

  • DKnight007

    DT’s that I like are Knighton who is tall, long and solid at 6’3 315 and of course the UT/Base DE Gilbert at 6’5 285….Brace also at 6’3 327

  • Bob Marley

    1.- (7th)- OL Michael Oher
    2.- (40th)- DE Michael Johnson
    3.- (71st)- WR Ramses Barden
    4.- (126th)- S Chip Vaughn

  • Bob Marley

    Crap…gotta run.

  • Rellik30

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLcZcQEEPbA&feature=related

    This kid is good…and smart with media

  • Bob Marley

    Anyway, 434 would be make a good draft for me, I have a couple of other scenarios I would also like.

    See you guys in a while, I hope.

  • blackdeath29

    round 1-macklin(wr)
    round 2-johnson(de)
    round 3-betty(ol)
    round 4-vaughn(fs)
    round 7-flecher(c)

  • blackdeath29

    jeramy maclin is the #7 pick.homerun hitter.forget about the punt and kick returns the kid can play wr.102 rec as a sophmore is no accident.watch the video and at 2.24 min check out the seperation from the corner when the ball is in the air.you can`t put a stopwatch on that, you can`t coach that.elite top end track speed at 6 foot tall in a real wr.that one play sent shocks waves in the raiders headquarters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzrltr66LqI

  • blackdeath29

    this should be the raiders 3 round pick.put him at ss move tyvon branch to fs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_37qMvwSMwo

  • Jimmy Jon

    Damn it, someone stole my nic

  • 860Todd Christensen

    This is a test!

  • EMRaiders

    “Is it only a test?”…lol sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • Norco Bob

    Draft Rey at 7,..wtf not?…too high?…baloney,…heres another point, he gets taken at 7,..all the “experts” say the Raiders blew it and took him too high,..dont think that would motivate him even more?…Rey has got to be the pick.

  • EMRaiders

    Last year someone mentioned the idea of using Fargas, McFadden, and Bush in the same game and in that order, every game. The thought was that Fargas could be used as the softener of defenses, McFadden could be the breaker, and Bush the Pounder.

    I would like to take it a step further, and plan the method of attack.

    We could use Fargas from the first Qtr into the first drive of the second Qtr. Then switch to McFadden and take him all the way into the end of the third, with Fargas subbing for him in the first half, and Bush in the third. Then sometime before the middle of the fourth, we unleash Bush full time. with Fargas or maybe both him and McFadden subbing. This way it will keep all 3 RBs somewhat fresh all game, it will give our suppose “homerun hitter” most of the carries, and it will make great usage of all 3 good RBs we have, while at the same time keeping all of them happy by getting playing time. This idea is flexible though, if one of the 3 show that they are better than the rest, then we can use him in McFadden’s place.

    This is solely for the running game. Play action and passing plays are not included. Though I suppose we could use some trickery and since the defense will know our rotation, we could switch it up on them during the game. Like putting in both McFadden and Bush in a 2 back pro formation, with McF as FB, and run a play action to him when Bush should’ve been getting the ball. I’m talking about the fourth Qtr here. I don’t know, just trying to be creative, ya know.

  • 504 Raider

    What up fellas,

    pretty sure we trading down now. I think we’re locked in on Ramses Barden at #40. Hopefully we get Philly’s #21 and #28 or Detroit’s #20 and #33.

  • Nnamdi21

    445. Problem with an Oakland version of eath wind and fire is DMC and Bush’s lack of pass protection.

    Thats partially why Farg was the man. We lost both FB’s and with our weak azz tackles, protection from the backs was alomost essential even with designed rolls and boots.

    Hopefully, they’ll have improved enough to play more. Both DMC and Bush are potential game breaking weapons…

  • Mistabrown

    Jerry is it true OakGlenn tried to reg 65 screen names ?

  • Mistabrown

    I have a better idea. Leave Fargas out of the mix so DMAC and BUSH can buzz saw through defenses, especially the AFC West!

    EMRaiders Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Last year someone mentioned the idea of using Fargas, McFadden, and Bush in the same game and in that order, every game. The thought was that Fargas could be used as the softener of defenses, McFadden could be the breaker, and Bush the Pounder.

  • Mistabrown

    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.

    # Oakglenn Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Jay Cutler just got shipped to the Bears. Good for them. It’s a good deal for Chicago.