Can The Oakland Raiders Afford To Pass On Rolando McLain?

It has been a long, long time since the Oakland Raiders had a truly great linebacker.  I’m not talking about fairly good, or satisfactory. I mean a genuine standout player.

Kirk Morrison is good in many ways, but has his weaknesses in others.  Greg Beikert played competently for a decade but was never in serious consideration for the Pro Bowl.  In fact, you have to go all the way back to the days of Rod Martin, Ted Hendricks, and Matt Millen to find a linebacking crew that struck fear into the hearts of the opposition.

In the 2010 Draft it seems that the Raiders have a chance to add to their roster a player who many believe will be one of the next great linebackers in the NFL: Rolando McLain.

There isn’t anything not to like about McLain.  He has the size (6’ 3” and 255ilbs) physicality, and take on strength to be dominant in the middle.  He also comes from a winning program at Alabama and was a key factor in the Crimson Tide winning the National Championship this year. 

Al will like that.

McLain is also a high character kid, a smart football player who takes good angles to the ball carrier and is a solid, wrap up tackler.

When you look at the failure of the Raiders first round picks over the last decade, he is the ideal choice.  When you break down first round picks by team, you get less busts at linebacker than any other position.  Linebackers generally translate well from college to the pros.

When you add this to the fact that all of the Raiders starting linebackers are free agents in one form or another, this should be a done deal already right?

Well, not necessarily...........

Because as acute as the need is at linebacker, there is another even more pressing need.

Oakland needs an offensive line.

The reality for the Raiders is that they can’t start next season wi...

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