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  1. #1
    evil disco man's Avatar
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    Arrow Sack master will visit Rams

    Sack master will visit Rams
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/13/2008

    Fear not, Rams fans, Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston says he can cure what ails the St. Louis pass rush.

    "If you guys had 5 1/2 sacks last year, I'm definitely going to add to that," Gholston said.

    Sadly, 5 1/2 sacks was the combined total for all the defensive ends on the team's roster last season.

    "I had 14 this past year, and I'm looking to increase that," he said.

    Gholston's sack total tied for third in the nation last season and set a school record. The Detroit native then turned pro a year early, and he arrives Sunday in St. Louis for a pre-draft visit with the Rams.


    Vernon Gholston's (top) draft stock keeps rising as his workouts were impressive for pro scouts. He has a knack for the sack as the defensive end had 14 in '07 for Ohio State.
    (Neal C. Lauron/Columbus Dispatch MCT)


    He will be joined Sunday by Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, and Louisiana State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. Unlike that trio, Gholston wasn't considered a consensus top five pick in January after the college season ended. He is now.

    Gholston's impressive workouts have helped vault him from top 15 status to a player who conceivably could be taken No. 1 overall by the Miami Dolphins. Gholston always has liked working out, from his teenage days at Cass Tech in Detroit.

    "I'm big on being physical, being strong and being tough," Gholston said. "That's what kind of brought me into football."

    More specifically, Gholston was walking down the halls of Cass Tech between classes one day when football coach Thomas Wilcher approached.

    "He thought I was a parent at the school, trying to pick up one of my kids," Gholston recalled. "I don't know if he was serious or not. I told him I was actually a student, and he had a shocked look on his face. He asked me if I ever thought about playing football, and I told him not really."

    Then a freshman, Gholston had never played organized football. But one thing led to another, and he was on the team as a sophomore. Now, after just three seasons of high school ball and three seasons of college ball (not counting a redshirt year in 2005 because of a broken hand), Gholston finds himself near the top of the NFL draft list.

    "I started kind of late (in football) compared to everybody else, some would say," he said. "The biggest thing about me is once I put my mind to something, I fully commit to it. That's part of the reason I took this quarter off (at Ohio State), because I really wanted to focus on football."

    Make no mistake, Gholston has been on a whirlwind pace since the Buckeyes' BCS championship game loss to Louisiana State. He took a few days off, deciding whether to enter the NFL draft. Once that decision was made and he hired an agent, it was off to the Phoenix area to train at the Athletes' Performance Institute.

    "I spent six weeks out there getting ready, preparing, eating right and taking care of everything," Gholston said.

    The next stop was the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he ran an eye-opening 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash at 6 feet 3, 266 pounds. He also pumped out 37 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press, tying Jake Long for the Combine high.

    Less than two weeks later, he was even more impressive at Ohio State's pro day. Despite a tight hamstring, which he had tweaked just a few days earlier, Gholston was even better in the 40 ó running in the high 4.5-second range.

    Granted, the Astroturf-style surface Ohio State uses to run 40s at pro days is considered a fast track.

    Unhappy with his Combine time, Gholston decided to prove a point. He ran on an adjacent FieldTurf surface, supposedly a slower track.

    "To show them that I have legit speed, I actually ran on the same surface that was at the Combine," Gholston said.

    Most of the discussion and speculation regarding the Rams' No. 2 overall pick has centered on the Longs and Dorsey. But Gholston shouldn't be overlooked. Coach Scott Linehan had planned to attend his pro day at Ohio State but couldn't because of a conflict.

    Nonetheless, Rams defensive line coach Brian Baker and vice president of player personnel Tony Softli went into Columbus a day early and spent extra time with Gholston.

    "Both those guys sat down and had dinner with me," Gholston said. "We talked quite a bit ó just about football, about me in general."

    The following day, Gholston said Baker was "one of the main guys" directing his pro day drills.

    Gholston has kept busy since then. He has had private workouts in Columbus for Atlanta, Miami, New England and the New York Jets. He has paid pre-draft visits to New England, New Orleans and Oakland.

    And now St. Louis.

    "It's part of the process," Gholston said. "And it's necessary. You just try to enjoy it at the same time. You only go through this once in life. The biggest thing is, you're getting a chance or opportunity to show what you're about for these teams. I just try to make the best of it."


  2. #2
    Mooselini's Avatar
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Gholston is a monster and seems determined to be an impact on team. Gholston or Long, I'm happy, just address our pass rush.

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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    Gholston is a monster and seems determined to be an impact on team. Gholston or Long, I'm happy, just address our pass rush.
    Well said, Moose. A nice, democratic way of viewing VG, CL, and the Rams pass rush.

    Great read, EDM, thanks. With those biceps (pic above), it'd be interesting to see Carriker and Gholston arm wrestle!

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    He will be joined Sunday by Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, and Louisiana State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. Unlike that trio, Gholston wasn't considered a consensus top five pick in January after the college season ended. He is now.

    Gholston's impressive workouts have helped vault him from top 15 status to a player who conceivably could be taken No. 1 overall by the Miami Dolphins. Gholston always has liked working out, from his teenage days at Cass Tech in Detroit.
    Hmm, I can't remember... wasn't there some wacko that had Gholston going first overall to Miami back in his January mock draft? Can't recall who that guy was...

    Gholston lacks the kind of experience that either of the Longs or Dorsey has, and he still has some learning to do when it comes to mastering his position. But he's shown in college that he has a knack for rushing the passer and can play with his hand on the turf. He's simply an incredible physical specimen. If the Rams are looking for an elite pass rusher in the mold of a Dwight Freeney or John Abraham, Gholston may be more of a risk but he could possibly provide the greatest reward of all the top picks. A very intriguing prospect, no doubt.

    It'll certainly be interesting to hear how tomorrow's visits go.

  5. #5
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    I really like Jake Long...but I feel if Pace can stay healthy that we can develope a prospect overtime to take his place and that Pace and Barron...CAN...be an excellent combo. I WOULD LOVE TO GET CHRIS LONG OR VERNON GHOLSTON. I can handle Dorsey, but I think Clifton Ryan and Adam Carriker could be a force to be reckoned with. I want Gholston most though.

  6. #6
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    .
    This is usually a Red-Flag.

    "Gholston's impressive workouts have helped vault him from top 15 status to a player who conceivably could be taken No. 1 overall by the Miami Dolphins. Gholston always has liked working out.."


  7. #7
    evil disco man's Avatar
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Soprano View Post
    .
    This is usually a Red-Flag.

    "Gholston's impressive workouts have helped vault him from top 15 status to a player who conceivably could be taken No. 1 overall by the Miami Dolphins. Gholston always has liked working out.."

    Top 15 to Top 5 is not that big of a jump. Everyone knew he would put up good workout numbers. I don't think that surprised many scouts enough to change their opinions on him drastically. Those numbers only validated the strength and speed he's shown on the football field.

    Nick for instance had him going #1 overall before the Combine even took place. If Gholston had been considered a late 1st or 2nd round prospect at the beginning, then I might be worried. However, he's been rated as the #2 DE (consensus, not IMO) before and after his workouts. The only difference now is that he has leap-frogged other positions because of his impact potential as a "sack master."

    :l

    -jake-

  8. #8
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    It'd be nice to see him go first to Miami since we seem to be leaning towards one of the Longs. Besides, it'll take a lot of heat off you non-believers when he turns out to be better than Chris Long.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    It'd be nice to see him go first to Miami since we seem to be leaning towards one of the Longs.
    Hmm, and here I thought we, the Clan, were divided between Chris Long and Vernon Gholston with Glenn Dorsey moving up in the interest meter.


    My own updated 2nd pick vote board:
    Glenn Dorsey -----> 30%
    Vernon Gholston--> 34%
    Chris Long --------> 35%
    Jake Long ---------> 1%

    That's a tight race among the senators of LSU, OSU, and VA!

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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    .
    In my mind, Bill Belichick is drooling over Gholston. He had a good
    shot too, until recently. Will NE try to move up and get Gholston
    if he's there at 3?

  11. #11
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Hmm, and here I thought we, the Clan, were divided between Chris Long and Vernon Gholston with Glenn Dorsey moving up in the interest meter.


    My own updated 2nd pick vote board:
    Glenn Dorsey -----> 30%
    Vernon Gholston--> 34%
    Chris Long --------> 35%
    Jake Long ---------> 1%

    That's a tight race among the senators of LSU, OSU, and VA!
    You may be right about the Clan, but I was referring to the front office.

  12. #12
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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by evil disco man View Post
    Top 15 to Top 5 is not that big of a jump. Everyone knew he would put up good workout numbers. I don't think that surprised many scouts enough to change their opinions on him drastically. Those numbers only validated the strength and speed he's shown on the football field.

    Nick for instance had him going #1 overall before the Combine even took place. If Gholston had been considered a late 1st or 2nd round prospect at the beginning, then I might be worried. However, he's been rated as the #2 DE (consensus, not IMO) before and after his workouts. The only difference now is that he has leap-frogged other positions because of his impact potential as a "sack master."

    :l

    -jake-
    Agreed, EDM. I disagree with Thomas' notion that Gholston wasn't considered an elite prospect in January. I looked up several archived mocks and most everyone had him in about the same spots he keeps showing up now......somewhere between 1 and 6.

    Like you said, I don't think the workouts reflected as suggested because most assumed he would perform exactly as he did.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Hmm, and here I thought we, the Clan, were divided between Chris Long and Vernon Gholston with Glenn Dorsey moving up in the interest meter.


    My own updated 2nd pick vote board:
    Glenn Dorsey -----> 30%
    Vernon Gholston--> 34%
    Chris Long --------> 35%
    Jake Long ---------> 1%

    That's a tight race among the senators of LSU, OSU, and VA!
    You lost me here, RR. The last poll I saw was put up by TampaRam:

    Glenn Dorsey --- 3%
    Vern Gholston --- 22%
    Chris Long --- 62%
    Jake Long --- 8%

    Have you posted a more recent poll?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    You lost me here, RR. The last poll I saw was put up by TampaRam:

    Glenn Dorsey --- 3%
    Vern Gholston --- 22%
    Chris Long --- 62%
    Jake Long --- 8%

    Have you posted a more recent poll?
    Oh, sorry Bison. I'm sure Tampa has got it right. I meant my own little 'personal' board as it changes almost on a daily basis and I favor either CL, GD, or VG. Jake Long I will probably leave at "1%" -- again, for my own preference.

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    Re: Sack master will visit Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Oh, sorry Bison. I'm sure Tampa has got it right. I meant my own little 'personal' board as it changes almost on a daily basis and I favor either CL, GD, or VG. Jake Long I will probably leave at "1%" -- again, for my own preference.
    Oh ok. My bad, thought I was missing something.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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