General manager Reggie McKenzie recently made another of his splashy mash-unit signings in former Pittsburgh Steelers second-round pick Senquez Golson.
Welcome to Oakland, @Quez_G.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) April 6, 2018
Golson should start an anti-bullying campaign against the injury bug, but a change of scenery may provide a reset to his career in the NFL.
Golson looks to me to be a guy given a shot at filling the role of Adam “Pac-Man” Jones on defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s new-look Oakland Raiders defense. Although the 5’9″ corner is much like Jones, Golson was a true ball hawk in the SEC. A Bronko Nagurski finalist in 2014, Golson was a unanimous All-American and First-team All-SEC, and his 10 interceptions as a senior were tied for an Ole Miss school record.
Heading into the draft, Golson excelled in primarily zone and off man-coverage based schemes. At 24 years old without a single game of NFL experience to his career, it may be false hope to expect him to be able to contribute at this level. Durability was a concern coming out of college and the man has been injured for the entire season within the first couple of days of padded practice for two years in a row.
To his credit the injury issues plaguing Golson are unrelated and with some help from perhaps a different strength and conditioning team he can finally take the field and show what he’s capable of. Defensive back is a glaring hole, one that a wide range of players is auditioning for.
One’s Trash is Another’s Treasure
The saying rings true for the Raiders, whether it be the seasoned ageless wonder, Leon Hall, or Rashaan Melvin, a castoff from the Indianapolis Colts betting on himself with a new opportunity to reclaim his career.
Golson himself, a man who has yet to navigate an NFL training camp, is another example. When it comes to defensive backs on the Raiders, you also have Dexter McDonald, a holdover still trying to prove himself. Maybe even an incoming rookie is to be expected; one thing is for certain: the Raiders are working hard to find help for their secondary.
Up against it due to the salary cap, the Raiders have been forced to scour the landscape for talent. Granted, not all of these players will be on the final 53 man roster at the beginning of the season. Older players are supposed to be mentors to the younger players, at least that’s how it looks on paper. Digging thru the scrap heap for talent is right in the repertoire of an old scout at heart. McKenzie is no different and with the help of his new coaches perhaps he can find the silver lining in some scrapped up steel.