Just a few days ago we were talking about the Raiders' linebackers tackling ability, and their ineffectiveness in the rush defense. So I guess it is good timing for ESPN bloggers to put out their ranking of AFC West linebackers. The Raiders did not fare well.
Lots of times when mainstream media types put out rankings and the Raiders populate the bottom portion of the list the nation is left crying foul. Well, I don't think too many of us well be popping any veins over this list. If anything, I think they were too generous.
5. Rolando McClain, Oakland: McClain is a hard-nosed player, and it looks as though he has a bright future.
7. Kamerion Wimbley, Oakland: Not a complete player, but he has made an impact as a pass-rusher.
11. Quentin Groves, Oakland: He’s a high-energy player. He’s decent, not great.
18. Travis Goethel, Oakland: A special teams standout, Goethel has big potential.
I think fifth is about right for McClain. They have him following Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, D.J. Williams and Shaun Phillips. I am not going to argue that he deserves to be ahead of any of these guys...yet.
Kamerion Wimbley at seven seems a little high. Wimbley's best value came as a rush end. I don't think he should be much lower. He isn't a disaster as a LB, and for being a majority 3-4 division the AFC West is not ripe with quality linebacking.
The biggest over ranking on this list is Groves. Groves is a high energy player, but he is a low end starter, that is best served to be a backup. Larry English and Jovan Belcher follow Groves, and I would take either before Groves. Not that I necessarily want either player.
Goethel was the last player ranked. I have no problem with that since he barely played. I am not sure why they called him a special teams standout, since he barely played their either. Practice standout is probably more valid. Here's to hoping he stays healthy in 2011 because he will probably be starting.
For a comprehensive look at all the day's Raider news and AFC West and NFL highlights be sure and check out our daily edition of Pirate Booty.