McClain, Veldheer, Houston on TSN all-rookie team


Middle linebacker Rolando McClain, left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lemarr Houston were all named to The Sporting News all-rookie team as selected by a panel of NFL scouts as well as writers and editors.

McClain, the Butkus Award winning linebacker from Alabama, finished third on the team in tackles behind Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff with 85. He started 15 games, missing one due to injury, had six passes defensed, one interception. He was the No. 8 overall pick, replacing Kirk Morrison, who was dealt to Jacksonville.

Veldheer opened the season as the starting center, then was moved to left tackle, splitting time with Mario Henderson until becoming the starter for the last 11 games of the season. Veldheer struggled at times with penalties and against some of the NFL’s best pass rushers (James Harrison, Cameron Wake, Dwight Freeney) but came along much faster than expected considering he played at Division II Hillsdale.

Houston had 39 tackles and five sacks in 15 starts, playing predominantly at right end but also sliding inside to the three-technique more often as the season went on. It’s conceivable Houston could eventually find a home at tackle, particularly if the Raiders don’t retain the services of Richard Seymour. Seymour is an unrestricted free agent who was franchised last season.

Until the NFL Players Association and ownership reach a collective bargaining agreement, the times, dates and rules on free agency will not be known.

Interesting note about the rookie class _ Jacoby Ford, the most sensational in terms of big plays of all the Raiders rookies, was not on the team. The wide receivers were Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams (65 receptions, 964 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Dallas’ Dez Bryant (45 catches, 561 yards, 6 touchdowns in 12 games), while Marc Mariani of Tennessee was the return specialist.

Ford had 25 catches for 470 yards and two touchdowns and set a franchise record with three kickoff returns for touchdowns but did not return punts. Former Raiders coach Tom Cable said the team would look at Ford seriously as a punt return specialist this offseason.


Just received the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team in an e-mail, but it hasn’t posted on their site as yet.

PFW also had McClain and Houston on the first team, but Veldheer was bypassed in favor of Green Bay tackle Bryan Bulaga, along with St. Louis’ Rodger Saffold.

Ford made the PFW team as a kickoff return specialist, with the publication naming Mariani as its punt return specialist.

No link on the PFW Web site as yet, so here’s the team in its entirety:

QB Sam Bradford, Rams
RB LeGarrette Blount, Bucs
RB Chris Ivory, Saints
WR Mike Williams, Bucs
WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys
TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
C Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers
OG Mike Iupati, 49ers
OG John Jerry, Dolphins
OT Rodger Saffold, Rams
OT Bryan Bulaga, Packers

DL Ndamukong Suh, Lions
DL Carlos Dunlap, Bengals
DL Lamarr Houston, Raiders
DL Tyson Alualu, Jaguars
LB Rolando McClain, Raiders
LB Koa Misi, Dolphins
LB Pat Angerer, Colts
CB Devin McCourty, Patriots
CB Joe Haden, Browns
S Eric Berry, Chiefs
S T.J. Ward, Browns

PK Clint Stitser, Bengals
P Zoltan Mesko, Patriots
PR Marc Mariani, Titans
KR Jacoby Ford Raiders
ST T.J. Ward, Browns


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • J Hill

    Thanks DKnight!

    Always hoped Hue would pluck from the Baltimore staff.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Al is going to withhold 120K from Cable’s salary, and than spend 150K on lawyers defending it in the courts.

  • dickv

    I think Curtis brown is a lock at # 48… Personally I would not want a CB in rd two, but al loves DB’s like fat kids love cake…

    Curtis brown is the only Cb anywhere near the top of the draft with 4.3 speed… I think it is etched in stone myself.

  • beast
    Season ticket holder until 07, Shell part 2 and economics stopped all that, but yes`I do feel that there needs to be a modern way of running this franchise. Al can still sit in the owners box but take away his drivers license(His power to game plan)

  • bigblackdeath29

    47.J Hill Says:
    January 17th, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    Why are you guys more upset about this fine than Cable was?

    i`ve been wondering that my self.espn has raiders fans attention.

  • TerrapinRaider

    Propaganda (but facts nonetheless) ..lead story on raiders.com so you can smell something cooking:


    Ranked 10th in the NFL, the Raiders offense was highly successful and showcased its many offensive weapons throughout the season.

    The Oakland Raiders offense finished the 2010 season ranked 10th in the NFL. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

    The Oakland Raiders offense was highly successful during the 2010 season. Finishing 10th overall in the NFL, the offense scored 410 total points, averaging 25.6 points per game and 354.6 yards per game.

    The Raiders doubled the number of points scored from 2009 and increased their yards per game by almost 100. The offense scored 44 touchdowns in 2010, up from 17 in 2009. The offense totaled 5,674 offensive yards and 306 first downs.

    RB Darren McFadden was 12th in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,000 and RB Michael Bush was 10th in the NFL in rushing touchdowns with eight. WR Jacoby Ford ranked 13th in the NFL in yards per catch with 18.8. Despite being hampered by injury, TE Zach Miller ranked 8th in the NFL in receptions with 60 and averaged 11.4 yards per catch.

    The offense had a breakout performance against the Broncos in Week 7 at Denver, scoring a franchise-best 59 points. For their efforts, the offensive line was picked by Hall of Famer John Madden for the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award and McFadden was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and voted FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.

    The Raiders offense saw the emergence of many players this season including rookie T Jared Veldheer and Ford. QB Jason Campbell had a weapon in 2nd year FB Marcel Reece, and even occasionally threw to offensive lineman Khalif Barnes. Able to mix it up, the Raiders finished the season with 19 rushing and 18 receiving touchdowns.

  • J Hill

    We are not taking a CB in rd 2.

    OL or OLB will be the pick.

  • dickv

    Beast & lynn,

    Al will out live us all… I think he is going for the whole 120 years that is outlined in Gensis. He will be the acting gm/ with overide power until the end…

    We will be having this conversation for the next three decades. al is not going anywhere.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Dean Pees (61), Ted Tolner (70), Paul Hackett (63) Al Saunders (63), John Marshall (65)……..

    All these guys are old as dirt!!!!

    Can we get some youth in here please!!!!

  • M Lonetree


    being pissed off is fine, but Al ain’t likely to be going away nor is he likely to change, so…

    anyway, perhaps Popgun can lend Cable some cash if Curly has already spent all of his trying to drown himself in whiskey.

  • dickv

    J Hill… with Nnamdi and rout both being free agents… why are you so sure that CB will not be the pick.

    again I would love to get another OL in the 2nd, or a big fat dt as I have mentioned before, but that old bastard has a thing for db’s that have 4.3 speed, and seeing that db’s will most likely lead the exodus in fa causlasties… the question has to be; why won’t Al draft a cb?

  • confucius400

    120k is not going too break cables back never feel sorry for a man who owns a plane!

  • dickv

    When Al drafts his Db in the 2nd it will be the only DB with 4.3 speed… Curtis Brown from Texas

  • M Lonetree

    Rex – “We are a championship calibre team aiming to win the Super Bowl.”

    Barney Rubble – “We’re not losers anymore!”

  • TerrapinRaider

    It depends on who that get as DC of course; but possibly getting Al Saunders as OC in here will influence a lot of players. Maybe less than the almighty $, but it will certainly be a positive influence.

    At the end of the day I think Al signs whomever he wants back.

  • Cb will be looked at for sure with the emphasis on shutting down the pass across the league this playoff run. Just look at what GB and NY did.

  • M Lonetree


    DB definitely, but Nnamdi was not a 4.25 in the 40 nor was he even a CB…never know exactly how the Old Man looks at things.

  • J Hill

    dickv Says:
    January 17th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    J Hill… with Nnamdi and rout both being free agents… why are you so sure that CB will not be the pick.


    Routt will certainly be back. Who’s going to pay him like Al?

    Nnamdi isn’t going anywhere either.

  • priesttj


    Jhill because they overreact to everything the media feeds them as if it’s catastrophic. If he farts it’s OMG!!! we’ll never win again.

    Sure I would love not to hear this type of crap because I know what the media wioll do with it. But at some point when do stop overeacting to everything they tell ya. I wish Mr Davis would just pay the guy and get on with business. But obviously Cable went against him in some way and is now going to pay for it. Because I gaurantee you he checked and rechecked to make sure once he did it he would win. Or else he wouldn’t do it.

    He rarely ever loses in these situations. But I just want to focus on football…………period

    We got two of the most important allstar games coming up and we need all hands on deck. WE need to finsih rebuilding this team for a championship run.

  • bigblackdeath29

    atlanta falcons might pay for Nnamdi.

  • dickv

    Cable was a mediocre coach that panicked all year. He was pressing from the outset. The guy gots heart, and he did a good job in getting things turned around, but he would not have gotten the Raiders to the next level.

    he banked his coaching career in oakland/ nfl on an injury prone qb that he was loyal to because he saved his job last year. Once Jason campbell lead the team to 3 consecutive wins he should have just stuck with him… he did not against al’s wishes, and now his option was not picked up.

    If he sticks with campbell against Miami, Al davis probably brings him back, and the Raiders might have even squeezed out that win. gradkowski was horrible in that game: did anybody see that duck that Yermiah bell picked off on a play that Jacoby ford was open by 20 yards? why the hell was Grads in the game when it was clear, he could not make a throw down field?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Al almost always drafts a DB somewhere in the first 3 rounds.

    This past year he waited until the 5th round, so you can probably be assured we go that route in the 2nd or 3rd round in this upcoming draft.

  • aig-raiders

    679.Dakota Says:
    January 17th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    If the win-loss record of a team where a potential HC once worked for was some sort of indicator of their potential as a HC, then every assistant from NE would be a success.

    Hue has found himself in some sketchy situations in Washington with the doomed Spurrier regime, and in ATL after the Vick debacle. Hue has had some success in Cinci with their Wrs and in Baltimore as their QB coach….and the improvement in Oakland last year was remarkable. Perfect? no, but when viewed against what the last guy accomplished, it was very very good.

    Too bad Hue wasn’t here in 2007, maybe Russell doesn’t fail.



    Let me get this straight. You are making excuses for Hue at ATL and Skins. Yet you are holding Cable responsible for perhaps the worst draft pick of all the time the JaFatA$$$. I can assure you a lousy Vick is much better than a purpledrank Jawalrus.

  • confucius400

    “Brett Favre isn’t messing around this time. He’s finished playing football. For good. We think. Two sources told FOXSports.com on Monday that Favre has already filed his retirement papers with the NFL, just weeks after the end of his 20th season. While he could still change his mind like in the 2008 and 2009 offseasons, there is no indication Favre will return.unless its to the cardinals or raiders.

  • bigblackdeath29


    i would say 3 all star games,with the texas vs. the nation game,valdeer played in it last year.

  • Just Fire Baby

    did anybody see that duck that Yermiah bell picked off on a play that Jacoby ford was open by 20 yards? why the hell was Grads in the game when it was clear, he could not make a throw down field?


    Better question is , why was our OC and future HC, dialing up a play-action 8 step drop 50 yard pass for our noodle-armed, injured backup QB?

    Did Hue really send in that play-call and think it was going to work?

  • Who is going to the senior bowl or the East West Shrine game?????//?????????

  • TerrapinRaider

    Priest – Its been reported that Cable’s pay was deducted due to a league imposed fine by the NFLPA and another entity on the Raiders due to the intensity of the OTA practices.

    It was a judgement by the union per their contract. The responsiblity of the OTA practices and the intensity thereof was solely on Tom Cable. Hence, he was responsible for the fine imposed!

    If these are the facts as reported Davis is completely within his rights and rightly held Cable responsible for his own practice routine. Why the hel would I pay that large of a fine for Tom Cable and his buffoonery when I don’t even want him as HC?

  • dickv

    Routt will certainly be back. Who’s going to pay him like Al?

    Nnamdi isn’t going anywhere either.


    Nnamdi has a whole lot of options he hasn’t even considered… nobody knows what Nnnamdi will do including Nnamdi.

    Routt will be a houston texan. Routt would instantly be the best Cb on that roster or at the very least be a starter: one of the best two on the roster. He is from texas… they badly need CB’s. It all adds up.

    Huff probably lands in Houston as well. he loves everything in Texas including no state income tax

  • priesttj

    I know I always catch that one as well but it isn’t as deep as the Shrine and Senior. Almost everyone we drafted played in the Senior and Shrine. The same will be true this year.

  • aig-raiders

    706.Raider 510 Says:
    January 17th, 2011 at 2:29 pm
    Aig just continue to stand neutral. I’m not sure if you support Cable, hate Hue, or love Marshall.


    I support Cable from day 1 and was happy to see him stop the “laughing stock” of the league lable for the Raiders.

    Hue is a good motivator but lousy gameday caller. I have posted proof of that many times.

    Marshall accomplished just as much as Hue this year. However, they both couldnt improve on the Run D or the passing woes of the past 7 years. Those are liabilities of Al Davis’ philosophy of the single safety deep scheme and lack of ability to deliver us a legit starting QB in the past 7 years.

    At least Marshall had to run Al’s system and tried to make the best of it. Best DC we had in a long time and even better than Breshnahan during the Gruden years.

  • dickv

    JFB… read the proganda on the raiders website about the offensive revival again.

    Whatever you have against Hue Jackson is irrelevant to me. He was brought in to move the ball and score points, and he did despite/ inspite of the owner & HC arguing over who should be in the game.

    Jackson made mistakes… first time being a playcaller in NFL I beleive. Bottom line the man did his job.

  • confucius400

    Whether or not Vince Young makes sense for the Oakland Raiders is irrelevant because Al Davis rarely does. After firing a coach that swept the division, he may be some spark to the offense.

    The Raiders need a quarterback that can run a short passing attack to compliment their running game. They went 1-4 in games with a quarterback throwing for over 250 yards in 2010. However, they were 6-2 when a running back gained over 100 yards on the ground. That is the exact system Young excels in

  • djohnnyg

    58.dickv Says:
    January 17th, 2011 at 4:14 pm
    Beast & lynn,

    Al will out live us all… I think he is going for the whole 120 years that is outlined in Gensis. He will be the acting gm/ with overide power until the end…

    We will be having this conversation for the next three decades. al is not going anywhere.

    Al Davis is the fulfillment of prophecy. Mr. Davis represents the 144,000 “chosen ones” spoken of in Revelation. Being a descendant of fleshly Israel, he is duly postioned to take his proper place among the ‘Holy Ones’.

    Prophecy states that a savior would come in “White robes and linen” which can be accurately compared to, and represented by the white jump suit that Mr. Davis has been known to adorn.

    Prophecy also speaks of a “lord of zion” who would come from the east (Brooklyn) and would rise in the west (Oakland). Prophecy also speaks of the zionist nation being in the wilderness “for 40 years”. The Raiders have indeed been in the wilderness for 40 years if you take the 7 (seven means completness) losing seasons and multiply them by 6 you have 42. Add the number 8 (for 8 losses/wins this past season)and you have the number 50. Take away 10 from that and you have 40 (as in 40 years in the “wilderness”)and you match the prophetic number rightly attributed to Mr. Davis.