Four years ago the Raiders selected a pass rusher out of the University at Buffalo by the name of Khalil Mack at 5th overall. At the time, the only real knock anyone could come up with for Mack was the small school angle. And you might say that turned out pretty well if you’re looking for an understatement.
When a team has that kind of success at a school, it tends to put that school a bit more on their radar. This week, they hosted Buffalo offensive tackle David Goldsby for a visit.
Scouts from the Raiders attended Goldsby’s Buffalo Pro Day and came away impressed. They visited with him afterward for a time in what Goldsby told me was “one of the strongest connections so far.”
The connection was real and it led to an official top 30 visit to Oakland on Wednesday – the first official pre-draft visit for the Goldsby. It won’t be his last NFL team visit, though. He is also slated to attend the Buffalo Bills local pro day.
You won’t find much information about Goldsby out there. He’s flown well under the radar. But don’t let that put you off of him completely. He has come a long way as a football player in a short period of time, offering load of raw potential with which an NFL team can work.
The 6-4, 314-pounder went to a basketball school in St Louis Missouri, where he played only basketball until his junior season. You don’t get a lot of big schools knocking on your door when you don’t pick up a football until your junior season in high school, so he went the Junior College route.
“My first year I played I was inexperienced so my senior year I really started taking it seriously because I saw the accolades and everything that came with it,” said Goldsby. “My senior year I didn’t have any offers coming out of high school, being an under the radar guy, just playing a year at that moment. It was go to college at a lower level or be a walk-on. And I’d rather get it out the mud and work hard for what I want to have. That’s basically how it started. If you have the vision, stay focused and work hard, everything will come to you no matter what. So, that was the main thing that I did when I first left high school and went to junior college.”
He attended Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, and after redshirting a year, Goldsby took over the starting right tackle spot. And in just one season at the position he was named Junior College 2nd team All American.
Buffalo recruited him as a tackle, but initially moved him inside to right guard. It didn’t last long before he was back at tackle again.
“I played guard for the first four games of the season my first year at Buffalo,” Goldsby continued. “I started all four games at guard and then our right tackle went down and just knowing me as a person and a player they knew I had the ability to play right tackle. . . I’ve been starting at right tackle ever since then.”
His journey is very similar to that of former Raiders second round pick, Menelik Watson. A former basketball player who picked up football late and within a couple years was the starting right tackle at a Division 1 school.
Watson just had a higher profile being at Florida State, which is why he was drafted in the second round. He also only played one season of Division one football and his downfall has been injury; something Goldsby has shown no indication he’ll struggle with.
Goldsby’s transition from tackle to guard and back to tackle is of interest to the Raiders. As is his high football IQ and physical strength – both areas he takes a great deal of pride. Despite not being invited to the combine and therefore not having combine training in the months leading up to his pro day, Goldsby had an impressive 26 reps on the bench press.
According to sources, the Raiders were impressed with his ‘heavy hands’ and are interested in him primarily as a guard, seeing his versatility as a bonus. His size also translates well to the guard position at the pro level.
With Goldsby still a raw prospect, visits like the one he took to Oakland are a combination of getting a closer look at him and starting a relationship. He is not currently projected as a draft selection, but the interest is there from the Raiders to potentially seek to bring him in as a priority undrafted free agent.