Philadelphia Eagles Should Take a Chance on Vernon Gholston
The Jets made defensive end Vernon Gholston the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Gholston was off the radar in terms of draft prospects, up until his senior year at Ohio State, when he recorded 14 sacks and 15 tackles for losses.
He was the "workout warrior" at the combine, impressing in drills, such as the 40-yard dash, where he ran an astounding 4.58. He bench pressed 37 reps and had a vertical jump of 41'.
Gholston cemented himself as a top 10 pick in that draft class with his immense potential and unbelievable combine results.
Gholston, however, never played football until his sophomore year in high school and had just one season of experience at linebacker before converting to defensive end when he arrived at Ohio State.
Even though Gholston had major questions about his consistency rushing the quarterback, the Jets saw through faulty college tape and went ahead drafting Gholston on his sheer athleticism and raw talents.
Three NFL seasons later, Gholston still has not recorded a sack. Not one.
He was even a healthy scratch on numerous occasions with the Jets.
Former Jets coach Eric Mangini drafted Gholston to play outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, a difficult transition for most defensive ends.
The 6'3'' 260 pound Gholston never showed fluid hips and could not turn or use his leverage in terms of rushing the passer, nor was he able to drop in coverage.
After Gholston played sparingly in his rookie season, Mangini was fired and Rex Ryan took over.
With not much experience being a linebacker, Gholston could not further adjust to the complex blitz and coverage schemes Ryan employed with his adaptation of the 3-4 defense.
Gholston never had the chance to succeed with the Jets. He was considered a hardworker in the locker room, but failed to alter his game.
Some athletes in the world cannot completely change the way they play and their tendencies.
Ryan had high praise for Gholston, but nothing translated on the field.
At the age of only 24, Gholston is still a high potential player. In the right scheme, Gholston may even succeed, unlike with the Jets.
With the changing of schemes and positions throughout his career, Gholston could still be learning how to actually be a successful NFL player.
The Eagles are not loaded at the defensive end position and with the best defensive line coach in football, Jim Washburn, who knows what Gholston could accomplish with the Eagles.
Should the Eagles sign Vernon Gholston?
Washburn has many success stories including turning journeymen like Kyle Vanden-Bosch and Jason Babin into pro-bowlers.
If Gholston could concentrate on just being a defensive end and rushing the passer, not dropping into coverage, maybe the highly-regarded Washburn could exploit's Gholston's strengths and talents.
The Eagles could offer Gholston a one year contract and work with him on becoming a situational pass rusher. If he fails, the Eagles could let him go, but if Washburn can light a fire in Gholston, then he could provide huge dividends.
There would not much risk in signing Gholston. If the Eagles want him, they would have to sign him before March 4th, when released players can sign new contracts.
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