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Thread: Vernon Gholston Profile from Baltimore Sun

  1. #1

    Vernon Gholston Profile from Baltimore Sun

    Found this Baltimore Sun article on Vernon Gholston. Thought you guys might like some insight into the guy we could end up drafting.


    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/spor..._gholston.html


    Moving the Chains
    A blog about the NFL by baltimoresun.com's Sheil Kapadiaę Fifteen Super Bowl observations | Main

    Draft profile: Vernon Gholston
    If Sunday's Super Bowl showed us anything, it's that you always have a chance if you put pressure on the quarterback.

    Enter Vernon Gholston.

    Ohio State's defensive end had 14 sacks during his senior season, good enough for third in the nation. Gholston's performance makes him a likely first-round pick after electing to skip his senior season with the Buckeyes.

    To get a better handle on what kind of player Gholston is, I called on Ken Gordon, an Ohio State beat writer for The Columbus Dispatch.

    Q: What about Gholston will impress NFL teams?

    A: His body. The man is a physical freak of nature. His veins just bulge out of his arms. Heís sculpted, with like 5 percent body fat, and he can bench press 455 pounds. I expect heíll be a hit at the combine.

    Q: What were the major factors in Gholston's decision to skip his senior season?

    A: He had been here four years, having redshirted due to injury in 2005. He followed up a solid 2006 (8.5 sacks, second-team all-Big Ten) with a dominating 2007 (14 sacks, Big Ten defensive lineman of the year). He played in two straight national-title games. He probably felt he had nothing left to prove. Plus, his father passed away years ago and Iím sure he wants to support his mother.

    Q: Describe the "Leo" position that Gholston played at Ohio State. How was he against the run?

    A: Leo is OSUís name for a hybrid rush-drop defensive end. They run a fair amount of zone blitz, and sometimes the Leo drops into coverage. Itís sort of like what Mike Vrabel does for New England, kind of a big, versatile outside linebacker-type. Or Adalius Thomas. Gholston was solid against the run, nothing spectacular. He doesnít miss many tackles, and his strength is chasing to the outside. Heís got speed.

    Q: Describe Gholston's personality. What is he like off the field, and what was his relationship like with teammates, coaches and the media?

    A: Heís kind of a different bird, personality-wise. Heís very pleasant, but very quiet and kind of a loner. For instance, he lived with a woman, but she is not his girlfriend. Just different, not a typical jock. When the majority of the team gathered at the team meeting room Dec. 1 to watch the West Virginia-Pitt and Missouri-Oklahoma games (which decided OSUís bowl fate), Gholston was one of the few players not there. Never any problems off the field or any squabbles with the media, just very reserved and private.

    Q: The Big Ten has had several NFL-caliber offensive tackles during the past few seasons -- Wisconsin's Joe Thomas, Penn State's Levi Brown, Michigan's Jake Long. Has Gholston gone head-to-head with any of those guys, and if so, how did he perform?

    A: He never faced Joe Thomas. Wisconsin was off OSUís schedule in 2005 and 2006. In 2006 against Levi Brown, Gholston had a sack. Against Long, he had no sacks in 2006, and absolutely destroyed Long in 2007 (see my answer to the last question).

    Q: Is it true that Gholston didn't start playing football until he was a sophomore in high school? What made him want to pick up the sport?

    A: True. Gholston apparently was really into weightlifting and not team sports. As I said, heís just a bit different. His high school coach spotted him in the hall freshman year and thought he was a kidís parent. He looked so big and mature. When he found out Gholston was a student, he sort of begged and pleaded until the kid agreed to play football. So he was still sort of raw when he got to Ohio State, instinct-wise.

    Q: What was Gholston's signature moment at Ohio State?

    A: Last season at Michigan. Coming off a loss, OSU needed to win at its archrival in order to clinch a Big Ten title and Rose Bowl berth (of course, they ended up with more, but they didnít think they would at the time). The Buckeyes won, 14-3, and held Michigan to 91 total yards, thanks in part to a banged-up Chad Henne and Mike Hart. Working mostly against Long, Gholston had three of OSUís four sacks, including his final one, midway through the fourth quarter. Gholston beat Long so quickly and got to Henne so fast that it surprised both players. Gholston didnít even have time to get his arms up, he simply chest-bumped Henne to the turf. It was a dominant performance in a big game.

    More on Gholston

    ESPN.com lists him at 6-foot-3 5/8, 255 pounds. Mel Kiper Jr. has Gholston ranked as the ninth-best player available:

    He took his play to a new level in 2007, showcasing the explosiveness to overpower offensive tackles at the point of attack. Gholston also has excellent closing speed, as evidenced by the 14 sacks he registered. He also has the versatility to play with his hand off the ground.

    Kiper has the Jets selecting Gholston with the No. 6 pick in his most recent mock draft. So does ESPN.com's Todd McShay:

    This seems a bit high right now for Gholston, who flashes top-10 talent in many games (see: three sacks against Michigan) but disappears in too many others. Don't be surprised, however, if he works his way into the top-10 mix by the time April rolls around. Gholston is the best edge-rushing prospect in the class and we all know the premium NFL teams place on those players. He would be an excellent addition at rush linebacker for a Jets defense that is in need of some perimeter heat out of its 3-4 front.

    Scouts, Inc. has Gholston ranked as the No. 8 player overall.

    ESPN.com's McShay says Gholston's biggest strength is his combination of power, quickness and motor. He says Gholston's biggest negative is his smaller frame. It's probably worth noting that the Buckeyes recruited Gholston as a linebacker.

    Here's what Gholston told our interviewee Ken about his quiet demeanor during the past season:

    "I get fired up, but it will be more subtle than anything. My emotion comes from pride and going out there trying to dominate. Ö I have my moments, too. I don't get as riled up as [Ohio State teammate] Malcolm [Jenkins], but I go out there and have intensity."

    And finally, I'm sure the part in the Q&A about Gholston living with a female roommate who's not his girlfriend caught your attention. Here's the story from the Dayton Daily News. Apparently the roommate was a licensed massage therapist. Here's what Gholston said:

    "It's a good living situation. I know my role, and she knows her role. I take out the trash, and she does the dishes."

  2. #2
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    that loner business is cool in movie land, but a little worrisome for a pro.

    nothing serious, but definitely justifies investigation before investment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Vader View Post
    that loner business is cool in movie land, but a little worrisome for a pro.

    nothing serious, but definitely justifies investigation before investment.
    I spoke to a pair of people about him at length yesterday and got some interesting info....

    1- Gholston never came to Ohio State with people thinking he was going to be a first round choice....

    2- he took a huge leap in his game which no one expected nor really thought he was capable of...

    3- someone monitoring his training expects him to be a little dissapointing and maybe not participate at all in the combine (shorter than expected and slower)...and I thought the opposite would happen...

  4. #4
    It sucks that the 49ers traded away their first last year to the Pats.

    Staley is ok, but SF could've just taken Ugoh with their 2nd round pick (traded to the Colts who took Ugoh). Damn... the 49ers could have gotten themselves a Merriman clone at #7. Instead, the Jets or Pats will likely end up with him.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Vader View Post
    that loner business is cool in movie land, but a little worrisome for a pro.

    nothing serious, but definitely justifies investigation before investment.
    That, plus the fact that he had to be begged to play football and was so into an individual sport like weightlifting also makes me wonder how much he really loves the game. Would an NFL career be just a job to him? If Tangini can't confirm that for themselves, you have to believe they won't take him. They have both always said that they want players who love the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY View Post
    I spoke to a pair of people about him at length yesterday and got some interesting info....

    1- Gholston never came to Ohio State with people thinking he was going to be a first round choice....

    2- he took a huge leap in his game which no one expected nor really thought he was capable of...

    3- someone monitoring his training expects him to be a little dissapointing and maybe not participate at all in the combine (shorter than expected and slower)...and I thought the opposite would happen...
    he has to show up and compete. there's no harm in being what you are. unless you're a juice bag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 49ersJetsfan View Post
    Damn... the 49ers could have gotten themselves a Merriman clone at #7.
    shawne merriman weighed 270, had a 45 inch vertical leap... and only went 12

    people are overrating Vernon Gholston, who by the way only received a 2nd round projection from the advisory committee

    what CBNY is saying does not surprise me at all

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Vader View Post
    he has to show up and compete. there's no harm in being what you are. unless you're a juice bag.
    he'll show up...competing could be another thing altogether...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY View Post
    3- someone monitoring his training expects him to be a little dissapointing and maybe not participate at all in the combine (shorter than expected and slower)...and I thought the opposite would happen...
    I'm really amazed at this info. I was sure Gholston would come to the combine and put up some of the best numbers this year.

    CBNY & Bitonti - how much do you think a guy like Gholston gets downgraded if his Combine numbers aren't great? He still has all of that awesome film - lots of sacks, did well against Jake Long, etc. Wouldn't film triumph over a mediocre Combine performance ??

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    It says that Gholston is had 14 sacks in his senior year?? Yet he is only a junior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lageman4ever View Post
    He still has all of that awesome film - lots of sacks, did well against Jake Long, etc.
    his film is not awesome. aside from that one game he's been average against good teams and great against awful teams. Aside from Long he hasn't faced a top NFL bound tackle, not Joe Thomas or Levi Brown.

    he couldn't even be bothered to go 100% in the BCS title game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lageman4ever View Post
    I'm really amazed at this info. I was sure Gholston would come to the combine and put up some of the best numbers this year.

    CBNY & Bitonti - how much do you think a guy like Gholston gets downgraded if his Combine numbers aren't great? He still has all of that awesome film - lots of sacks, did well against Jake Long, etc. Wouldn't film triumph over a mediocre Combine performance ??
    I originally thought he was a mid first round pick before stepping out on a limb and making bold predictions...one thing I've learned- if you do your homework first impressions/instincts are always the right one...its' usually when you listen to others you haven't spoke with that things get clouded...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmiggsey View Post
    It says that Gholston is had 14 sacks in his senior year?? Yet he is only a junior.
    LOL...I said the same thing.

    Question for CBTNY and Bit...

    I agree with you guys that he is being overrated. But, I dont think you can argue...especially after the Super Bowl...the importance of a pass rush.

    Other then Chris Long...what player out there is a better pass rusher?

    I am asking because dont you think that will play a factor into what team overrates him enough to take him top 10 +?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JiF View Post
    LOL...I said the same thing.

    Question for CBTNY and Bit...

    I agree with you guys that he is being overrated. But, I dont think you can argue...especially after the Super Bowl...the importance of a pass rush.

    Other then Chris Long...what player out there is a better pass rusher?

    I am asking because dont you think that will play a factor into what team overrates him enough to take him top 10 +?
    the better arguement would be the value of a Merriman/Ware type player on the roster...or John Abraham..

    will it be a factor??? no...Tuck/Osi/Starahn were not first round picks let alone top ten....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY View Post
    the better arguement would be the value of a Merriman/Ware type player on the roster...or John Abeaham..

    will it be a factor??? no...Tuck/Osi/Starahn were not first round picks let alone top ten....
    Great point.

    I just think that some team is going to be all excited over his combine and big game pass rush ability and reach.

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    Bearish on Gholston -- he could fall to the second round (where we are) if he plays this out poorly...

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    The funny thing is that alot of sites with value boards are just lynching onto gholston. He's been on a steady rise over the last while as I update my spreadsheet. Right now he's firmly at #7 between Ellis at #6 and Clady at #8.

    He started off as a late 1st rounder if that in a lot of cases but people are buying into the hype. If he has a big combine I think he'll stay up into his lofty status if he blows then he'll drop obviously. I am guessing that he falls back because others are going to have big combines or pro days.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    shawne merriman weighed 270, had a 45 inch vertical leap... and only went 12

    people are overrating Vernon Gholston, who by the way only received a 2nd round projection from the advisory committee

    what CBNY is saying does not surprise me at all
    Well if he does fall in line with the advisory committee's projection, I hope to see the 49ers take him at #29.

    I can't take anymore of Tully Banta-Cain't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 49ersJetsfan View Post
    Well if he does fall in line with the advisory committee's projection, I hope to see the 49ers take him at #29.

    I can't take anymore of Tully Banta-Cain't.
    another LB?

    your team needs help on the line...bad.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Vader View Post
    another LB?

    your team needs help on the line...bad.
    Eh, not THAT much. The reason we looked so bad this year was due to various reasons but not lack of talent:

    - Jonas Jennings was injured and disgruntled to boot. We'll see if he is retained or not.

    - Larry Allen has gotten so old and slow that he can't pass protect anymore. At this point, Adam Snyder has developed into a much better overall player than Allen due to his excellent passblocking skills (he's a pretty good left tackle).

    - Eric Heitmann early in the season was struggling coming off his broken ankle. By the end of the season he settled down, especially when Smiley was benched for Baas.

    - Justin Smiley sucked a$$. The guy developed into an awful player this season from "just average by young" before. He's got poor strength and his passblocking was exposed when Heitmann wasn't there to make up for his errors. When Dave Baas came in, there was a WORLD of difference.

    - Joe Staley performed ok, especially for a rookie converted from TE.

    Going into this offseason:

    LT: Jennings, Snyder or Staley
    LG: Snyder or Wragge
    C: Heitmann
    RG: Baas
    RT: Jennings, Snyder, Staley or Duckett.

    We're actually ok. Just need to jettison Smiley off the roster, he was our worst lineman the past two years other than Kwame Harris.

    Damane Duckett supposedly has developed so well after being converted from DE that he has a legit shot at winning a starting job this year.


    OH AND MOST OF ALL... ALEX SMITH PLAYED LIKE A DEER IN HEADLIGHTS AND HELD ONTO THE BALL FOR AGES MAKING THE OL LOOK LIKE CRAP.



    ================================================== =

    You can't always draft based on biggest need anyway.

    Passrushing OLB is a HUGE need for us.

    Right now, it looks like our linebacker corps will be:

    Lawson, Willis, Moore and Banta-Cain't.

    TBC is awful. Can't stop the run, can't passrush for much either. I hated the signing back then (I wanted Adalius Thomas, then Joey Porter) and hate it even more now.

    Roderick Green and Parys Haralson are very good passrushers, but they don't seem to have the instincts to be fulltime linebackers, at least not Green, who is the team's best passrusher.

    As you all saw during the SB, passrush is essential... especially when you are playing pass-happy offenses on a daily basis.

    The NFC West = passhappy.

    St. Louis
    Arizona
    Seattle

    Hence why you might even see the 49ers go after Asante Samuel and Terrell Suggs, despite having what it seems like solid personnel at those positions.

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