Rolando McClain: A First Round Pick Raider Nation Can Embrace…Finally!

"...the Oakland Raiders select, Rolando McClain-ILB, University of Alabama."

"Oh thank God!" I uttered to myself! I was so worried that I was going to hear Bruce Campbell, Jason Pierre-Paul, or Taylor Mays!

The breeze you felt immediately following the pick was a collective sigh of relief from Raider Nation!

It appears that Al Davis has finally given Raider Nation something to rejoice about in the first round of the NFL draft—unlike previous years when the sales of antacids and heart-burn medication skyrocketed in Oakland moments after the Raider's first round selection was announced.

I know that I have been critical of McClain in recent weeks, citing a couple of videos I saw of him taking plays off, merely jogging in pursuit, and taking some bad angles. All of this is true, but it is also correctable.

One day of getting called out by veterans like Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, plus getting chewed up and spit out by coach Tom Cable and defensive coordinator John Marshall will cure him of any "dogging" of which he may have been guilty.

The fact is that you don't win the Butkus award, become a finalist for the Lombardi award and the Bednarik award by "dogging it!" You don't become a first team All-American by taking plays off either.

Rolando McClain is the prototypical inside linebacker. He's 6'4", 258 pounds, not real fast, but fast enough, and his football intellect is off the charts. He made the National Championship defense in Alabama run, and run smoothly.

Rarely did you see a Crimson Tide defender out of position at the snap of the ball. Why? Was it because Nick Saban was shouting orders from the sideline? No, it was Rolando McClain getting everyone in the correct position.

Some have criticized McClain for not making many tackles in big games. This is not due to him being lazy, not being as good as advertised, or making mistakes. It's because eve...

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