Johnathan Craig's View Of Rolando McClain: Oakland Raiders' Draft Choice

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIApril 23, 2010

You never know who is reading your articles or listening to your pep talks about the Oakland Raiders and their NFL history.

Johnathan Craig, a running back at Texas Southern University, in Houston, introduced himself to Damali on April 23.

He watched the NFL Draft  and he was impressed that the Oakland Raiders selected Rolando McClain.

Craig has watched McClain's videos and he had something to say.

Damali: What brought McClain to your attention?

Craig: He is from Alabama. I always watched Alabama play, and they were, to me, the best team in college football. Part of that was because of their great defense.

McClain was a big role player in Alabama's defense.

Damali: What do you think McClain might add to Oakland's defense?

Craig: He will be a key component in the Raiders' moving forward to get where they want to be.  And, that's to have the most dominant defense, every time the team takes the field on a Sunday.

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Damali: What are some of the attributes that make McClain so outstanding?

Craig: McClain has good footwork and hip movement. He reads his keys good. In other words, every time he comes out, he reads his keys and executes. Basically, your key is your assignment.

Damali: Do you mean that he looks, on the spot, as the offense approaches, and that's what he is trying to figure out? And he does it well.

Craig: His ability to read his keys comes from putting time in the film room, coaching and just practicing everyday.

Another good quality that he has is he knows how to win.

Damali: Do you think he is going to fit well with the other defensive players already on the team?

Craig: That's hard to say, but as far as on the field, if he puts the time in like he did in college to learn the game, he'll do just fine. The NFL is a different game than the college level.


He did not hesitate to tell Damali that the Oakland Raiders definitely have the pool of talent.

The offense and defense are both only as strong as your weakest link. So, that's what they are trying to deal with during this draft. They are trying to strengthen those weak links.

Now let's tell you more about Craig.

Craig is from San Antonio, Texas.

He has played football since he was seven-years-old.

In high school he was All State in his Junior and Senior year.

His 40 time during his Senior year was 4.38. In college it varies between 4.35 and 4.38.

He says his strongest attribute is his speed and his vision. He continues, "My vision means, I know where to go when the holes are closing."

He says, "It's an instinct, and it is hard to put in words.  It becomes a reaction where you read your keys and execute as the play is going. It is a dynamic process. It can be learned, but it is mostly instinct."

Craig's main goal is to go to the NFL.

He observes that his conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), does not seem to get as much exposure as other conferences.

Craig definitely plans to look at Round Two tonight.

He added that in the later rounds, players like him are drafted.

Let's thank Craig for the interview, and let's all get ready for the draft tonight.