Ex-Buckeye DE Jay Richardson may have to fight to keep his starting spot.

Ex-Buckeye DE Jay Richardson may have to fight to keep his starting spot.

Jay Richardson

Ex-Buckeye DE Jay Richardson may have to fight to keep his starting spot.

Most 5th round draft choices are usually happy just to make the team especially when they were the second player the team took at their position.  That was not the case with former Buckeye Jay Richardson, DE for the Oakland Raiders in 2007.

By Bill Smith

    Only the most ardent Buckeye fans or anyone that had coached the game realized how talented and important Richardson was.  He did all the hard work necessary to make the Buckeyes one of the best defenses in college football.   The so called draft experts listed Richardson as a late 7th round choice or more likely a free agent.   The coaches in the NFL know talent when they see it.  The Raiders took him with the 138th pick in the 5th round.

    When he arrived at camp, Jay found that he was 5th out of 6 players on the depth chart at DE.    Former all pro Derrick Burgess and DE Kevin Huntley were the projected starters with former 2003 first round choice Tyler Brayton and fellow rookie and 3rd round choice Quintin Moses between Jay and a starting position.  Things got even more crowded when the Raiders signed DE Chris Clemons, the former Redskin who had been out of football in 2006.  Jay started in the final preseason game against Seattle when teams traditionally rest the starters.

    Jay's hard work made things change quickly.  By the time the Cleveland Browns came to town in week 3, Jay was the starter opposite Burgess.  He went on to start 11 games and was selected to several all-rookie teams.  In 2008 the depth chart at DE is in flux again in Oakland.

    The feeling is that Jay would have to fight off a challenge by Clemons and free agent Kimba Edwards to retain his spot.  Edwards, the former 2nd round pick in 2002 from South Carolina, had been cut by the Lions and signed by the Raiders.  Now, after Clemons accepted the 5 year 13.5 million dollar contract from the Eagles, both Richardson and Edwards will probably contend for the starting spot opposite Burgess.

    Jay has continued the hard and under the radar work on the D-line.  While he had only one sack in 11 starts last year, he blocked passes and pressured the quarterback regularly.  His height (6-6) and long arms help him keep O-linemen off him and block out the sun for the opposing QB.  He is a hard worker and will only get better.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent.  He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com.  He has also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com


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