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
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
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.
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.
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.
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