I met him, briefly, when he was first drafted by the Raiders. Our meeting was COMPLETELY out of the blue.
My buddy was flying in from Hawaii and I was picking him up at the Oakland Airport.
(On a SIDE NOTE...I'm watching the NFL Network as I write this and Adam Shefter just reported that he was WRONG when he crapped down the Raider's throats by reporting that Lane Kiffin did not even interview James Lofton and IS NOT involved in day to day actions of the team that he pretty much called a lame duck organization with Ichabod Crane, for a coach, running from the Headless Horseman, Al Davis.
He then ended his "TIRED-Ass" diatribe by saying that the truth is still out on whether or not he or the Raiders are telling the truth.)
I was teaming up with Fooch, from NinersNation, in doing a Bay Area Sports Podcast, which we preferred to do from bars, and that week I was waiting for my friend to fly in so I went to the Airport Hilton Bar and patched in from my cell. As fate would have it, I walked right into rookie/free agent/rookie-free agent Raider-Land.
I met BJ Ward when I was ordering a Captain and Coke, he had a coke, and then met Mario when my son and I were playing catch in the courtyard.
Mario is HUGE!!!
His size dictated the heading of this piece.
He was a mountain of a man that seamed pretty tough and distant...He had a menacing demeanor that I felt distanced from and I thought to myself that he would be a tough ass left tackle. There was NO "Superstar" in him, yet, his presence and size could make him a very good Offensive Lineman.
That was my first look into how HUGE Mario Henderson will is, and here is my second...
IF Mario Henderson can supplant Barry Sims on the O-Line this season the Raiders could draft Defense for the first two rounds...
IF the team could go DEFENSE with the firtst two picks, then I would want them to draft Vernon Gholston and Trevor Laws with the first two picks and the best available WR in the 4th.
Gholston could play OLB/Elephant in a 3-4 or 4-3. Trevor Laws can play inside of a 3-4 or 4-3, alternately, with Sands, Kelly, Warren and Richardson rotating in and out.
Gholston would give us an elephant type player, similar to Lawrence Taylor and Laws would give us surge into the middle of the offensive backfield and the defnse CAN turn on a dime.
Gholston AND Clemons can drop back into coverage with Thomas and Morrison, while Burgess, Laws and Kelly rush the passer...Or...Gholston and or Clemons can blitz along with any of the linebackers and really cause havoc.
That was my third thought about the HUGE-Ness of Mario Henderson, and here is my third...
Mario is the reason that the team does not have a pick in this year's draft, so HE HAS to equal the impact that a player like Eddie Royal (Good Hands, Great Return Man, Breakaway Speed, Solid Route Runner) or maybe Lavelle Hawkins (Great Concentration, Break Away Speed, Sure hands) would make on the Raiders or that was a TERRIBLE trade.
Trading the 3rd rounder this year for Mario Henderson last year has GOT to pay dividends, or else the Raiders can only have hope that someone who can be a #1 or 2 receiver on this team is still around in the 4th.
I don't think that Dre Moore or "Red" Bryant will be there in the fourth or I'd grab the best WR available in the second...You know that someone STRONG will be ther at #34...I wonder if we could get a third rounder for Rhodes? If we could then let's grab Jamaal Charles in the 2nd and Red Bryant or Dre Moore in the 3rd...