Rolando McClain: The Good, The Bad and The We'll See

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIApril 23, 2010

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 5:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators runs the ball against Rolando McClain #25 and Eryk Anders #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome on December 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

     As everybody knows, the Raiders have drafted Rolando McClain with the #8 pick.  There was no hesitating, the Raiders had their pick ready to be announced while Roger Goodell was taking pictures with Joe Haden, drafted by the Browns at #7.

     The Raider Nation has been thrilled with this pick, and so am I.  But there are some problems that come with the positives and some questions we will have to wait before they get answered.

     Good:  No matter how good Kirk Morrison is, he is no winner of the Butkus Award and hasn't led a #2 run defense.  McClain was part of turning the Alabama into a championship team.  That is what Oakland needs.  McClain joined the Tide when they ranked 46th against the run and moved them up to #2! 

     Bad:  Morrison may not be perfect, but he is a leader on this team.  He has been a leader in tackles for several years.  Therefore, this was not a must-have pick by the Raiders.  With McClain, the Raiders are procrastinating the need for instant help on the O-line.  Fortunately, Bruce Campbell can be gotten in round 2. 

     We'll See:  Will the Raiders switch to a 3-4 with all the new LB depth on their team?  Kamerion Wimbley and Quentin Groves are both 3-4 LBs and Richard Seymour is a 3-4 end. 

     Is Morrison on his way out of Oakland?  If Oakland stays in a 4-3 base, then it doesn't look good for Morrison.  Maybe he will be a nickel LB with Thomas Howard.  This would give McClain a chance to get a break here and there.  But $2 million is a lot of money for a situational LB.

     Will McClain snap the streak of bad top picks?  We'll see, we thought JaMarcus Russell would have lifted the team by now.  We thought McFadden would be like Adrian Peterson.  We thought DHB would get more than 9 catches in his rookie year.