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  • Vernon Gholston

    Well, since it's about that time of the year for the Combine workouts to begin, I've been thinking about all of the "workout warriors" of the past who have put up monster numbers in the Combine drills but failed to impress in the NFL. One of the recent "workout warriors" really stands out to me: Vernon Gholston.

    Gholston mostly destroyed the Combine with his athleticism and strength. In his case, however, not only was he a workout warrior, but he also boasted a rather productive college career as a DE, racking up several sacks for Ohio State.

    But in the NFL, he has yet to record a single sack, and I think he even has yet to accumulate more than 20 tackles in two seasons of play. This is a 6'4" 260lb former college star with tremendous strength and speed who was drafted in the upper portion of the first round. I mean, come on. You could take a guy off the street and he'd have more respectable numbers so far.

    What gives? Why was such a promising prospect such a complete and utter non-factor in the NFL so far? Can anyone shed some light on this for me? I mean, I understand the concept of the "bust", but this is just ridiculous. He's not just a bust, he's an uber-bust with that kind of disparity in stats between his college years and his pro days.

    Two possibilities to account for this in my mind:

    - Some kind of off-the-field issues that prevent him from playing at a high level. I can speculate, but I have no real knowledge of his situation, but it's not unprecedented in the NFL, if you know what I mean.

    - He is being severly misused in the current 3-4 scheme the Jets employ. But even so, I mean, a guy of his size and speed should be putting up some stats even if he's uncomfortable as a 3-4 LB. And that begs the question: is this a 4-3 DE miscast as a 3-4 LB? Would he be putting up better numbers in a 4-3?
    Last edited by Morton; 02-23-2010, 12:19 PM.

  • #2
    I'm willing to give him another year or two before deeming him a bust. Vernon Davis was looking like a bust up until this season.


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    • #3
      I think part of it is that he wasn't really a natural football player. You look at Brandon Graham and you see the hands, the body lean, the feel for the game, etc. very clearly. I don't remember seeing that with Gholston.

      Part of it could be a lack of dedication to the game, though I can't say that because I haven't kept up with him since he came into the NFL.

      And part of it could simply be that he's too stiff...yeah, he was rocked up on his body frame, but other than bulldozing straight ahead through tackles with his strength, I don't remember seeing much lateral agility in college, which is pretty key for any pass rusher. And I think his 3-cone drill showed that, actually.

      Jury is still somewhat out but I thought we'd see something from him last year if anything. Odds are slim that he will turn into anything significant after this point.

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      • #4
        He doesn't have the drive to be great, and he's backing up Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace so its not like he's behind some scrubs.
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        • #5
          He's just really young in alot of ways. The draft has become a very judgemental process amongst the fans, and guys are expected to make the grade within moments if they go high.

          If we got him at any spot but 6, Jets fans would basically be fapping to his potential and all that good stuff. IMO it's just a matter of time...it's not really as if he's the first unproductive 3-4 OLB convert in the history of the game.

          The fact that the general population tremendously overrates the sack really kills him though. Combine that with the speculative bs that that leads to..."lack of drive"..."lack of heart"..."he's just not motivated"..."he lacks da fiah"...that stuff...and then the fact that he got paid well as the 6th pick puts him like 8 feet deep.

          I still think he ends up a damn good player for us...he might even be starting for us by November, but as it's February let me not get too crazy here.

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          • #6
            He's backing up Jamal Westerman also who was a UDFA from Rutgers.
            #Chop


            sig by BoneKrusher

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Giantsfan1080 View Post
              He's backing up Jamal Westerman also who was a UDFA from Rutgers.
              No he's not, he's just less polished as a player than Westerman is. He's our 3rd OLB and the next in line to start...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FrankGore View Post
                And part of it could simply be that he's too stiff...yeah, he was rocked up on his body frame, but other than bulldozing straight ahead through tackles with his strength, I don't remember seeing much lateral agility in college, which is pretty key for any pass rusher. And I think his 3-cone drill showed that, actually.
                This is what I think, too. Just not a fluid player, certainly doesn't have the right skill set for a 3-4 OLB, might be better as a 4-3 end.

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                • #9
                  i still think hes in the best situation under rex ryan....i would expect him to explode after being non existant for the first few years....my same prediction with JPP honestly
                  E]

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CLong4Heisman View Post
                    He doesn't have the drive to be great, and he's backing up Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace so its not like he's behind some scrubs.
                    This, also he may just be one of those DEs who doesn't have the agility/ mental make up to make the transition to playing OLB in 34.
                    Forcing a guy like Gholston to play going backwards in coverage is not happening, IMO.

                    Can't say he's not dedicated to improving his overall game, you don't get a physique like that from playing PS3 and sucking down Co Co Puffs.

                    But I do think is some regards that Gholston has 'checked out': he may feel he's more ideally suited to play rush end in a 43 and just isn't giving a full effort in practice.

                    The guy I saw at Ohio State literally was a man among boys who when he really got after it, was unblockable with sideline to sideline range.

                    If I were his HC, I would demand he would with a yoga instructor/trainer to improve his flexibility and put him in the game on 3rd downs and let him chase the football.

                    Either that, or look for a trade. Funny how Gholston has been labeled a 'bust' since his rookie year, but still you don't hear much noise from the Jets FO about their looking to trade him, so far.

                    Someone still thinks the dude has 'P'.

                    Anybody heard or read of any interviews lately with Gholston?? I'd like to hear him say why he thinks he's yet to breakout in the NFL.

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                    • #11
                      Do you guys think he'd shine if some team gave him the opportunity to play as a pure 4-3 DE instead of a 3-4 OLB?

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                      • #12
                        I really think "he's not fluid" and "he doesn't have the mental makeup" are just made up reasons to explain why he sucks right now. It could just be that he's a guy who's played football for like 6 years, and two of them have been in the NFL.

                        I mean...I think he doesn't have the mental makeup right now to play 3-4 OLB, but few actually do. It's a position that's built on instincts and experience, and those are two things that can improve with time and work. Considering that he got himself to where he got himself, I'm sure he's willing to work.

                        I do have to say when I met him he totally comes across as soft, BUT "soft" in football terms usually comes down to overthinking and that's also something that tends to go away with time.

                        Maybe I overestimate him as a person, maybe my amateur psychology thing is just plain wrong...but really I don't think Gholston's going to do anything but go up over the years.

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                        • #13
                          Jamaal Westerman was the man @ Rutgers.
                          I liked him a lot as a prospect
                          GO RAVENS

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                          • #14
                            I actually thought he'd have a breakout year under Rex Ryan, seeing as how much he likes to blitz and the defenses he runs. I thought that'd be a good fit.

                            You never know, though. If anyone can turn him into a productive player, it's Rex.

                            Originally posted by fenikz
                            His soft D really turns me off
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                            • #15
                              He played on 3rd and long but as nose tackle. It really was disappointing in that sense for me because a big strong guy like him at 260 is going to get manhandled by 330 guards. It felt like they were setting him up to fail.
                              Hi Mom. Send money!

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