Darnell Bing Thread...

Darnell Bing

Height: 6-2
Weight: 228
40 Speed: 4.55 E
Position: Strong Safety
College: Southern California
Final Grade: E 5.8


Bing is a junior who came out early for the draft. Everyone is raving about him, but GM Jr. is not sold on him. There is no doubt he looks the part. When he stays over his feet, he can be a strong and violent hitter/tackler, but he gets out of control at times and ends up stopping his feet, diving and lunging, which leads to missed tackles. He does not always come up quickly in run support and often seems content to let his blocker shield and block him out of the play (inconsistent aggressiveness). He has the quick burst and play speed to make plays on passes in front of him, outside along the sideline and in tight man-to-man coverage, but he just is not consistent. Overall, Bing definitely is going to be drafted much higher than GM Jr. has him rated, but we are confident that in time, he will prove our evaluation correct. He will start at free safety or strong safety in the NFL, but will never be a consistently productive all-around safety, and will always miss more tackles than are acceptable for a safety.


Athletic Ability Coverage Tackling Competes Play Speed Instincts
6.0 6.0 5.5 5.5 6.0 5.5


Bing is a big safety with the athleticism to be productive in all areas. He flashes the ability to come up quickly in run support, avoids blocks on the move, and can be a strong and physical tackler when he stays over his feet and under control. He has the playing speed to chase down running backs in backside pursuit. When he reads the passer well, he can close quickly on passes in front of him and can break up the pass with a hard hit right as the ball arrives. He has very good hands and consistently has shown the ability to make the tough interception. He cuts in front of a receiver to make an interception surprisingly well.


Bing is an inconsistent player. He does not play aggressively on every snap. He often is a beat late breaking upfield against the run, does not fight through blocks and often only tackles when he is the last man left. He gets out of control when tackling, which leads to him stopping his feet before contact, diving and lunging, which leads to too many missed tackles. He does not consistently take good angles to the ball in run support and will overrun some tackles. He does not consistently pick up the tight end on play fakes and allows the tight end to get separation behind him. He is occasionally a beat late reading and reacting to the passer and does not break and close quick enough to make plays on the ball.


Grade Category Comments/Description

6.0 Read & React Usually, he is quick to read and react, but when he does not attack the play, his reactions seem slower.

6.5 M/M Coverage He has the size, playing speed and athleticism to cover tight ends all over the field and can stay with him down the seam.

5.5 Zone Coverage He flashes the ability to be very good, but is not consistent closing and making plays on the ball.

5.5 Break and Close He can be very good, but inconsistent reads and lack of aggressiveness limit his break-and-close ability.

6.0 Hips/Turn Ability He has the hips to turn and run with the tight end without losing a step (smooth and fluid hips).

5.5 Tackling He can be good technical tackler who makes violent hits, but gets out of control and misses too many.

6.5 Hitting Ability He has the ability to be a violent hitter when he stays over his feet and plays aggressively.

6.5 Hands - Interception He has the hands to cut in front of a receiver and make the tough interception seem routinely easy.

5.5 Hands - Fight Blocker He does not consistently take on and fight through blocks and allows himself to be blocked out of the play too easily.

6.0 Deep Speed He has the playing speed to stay on a tight end's hip all the way down the field.

NA Return Ability Played on special teams, but did not return kicks/punts in the games GM Jr. graded.

5.5 Errors His big error is that he does not play aggressively every snap and misses more tackles than he should.

ATHLETIC ABILITY Section Grade: 6.0

Bing is a good athlete; it has helped him to flash big-play ability despite not being consistently productive. His foot quickness and agility help him to change directions quickly; he bursts quickly in the other direction and has the playing speed to chase down the play in pursuit. His athleticism allows him to take advantage of his instincts to read and react quickly to passes in front of him. He can transition and close quick enough to make the hard hit right after the ball arrives. His natural flexibility helps him to bend his knees, and it combines with his athletic ability so that he can break down and tackle well out in space when he stays over his feet and under control. He has the quickness and burst to get out to the sideline from 2-Deep coverage to make the tackle right after the catch on deep outside passes. He has very good hands; he can cut in front of receivers to make tough interceptions seem easy.

Q.A.B. Quick Feet C.O.D. Flexibility Coordination
6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0

COMPETITIVENESS Section Grade: 5.5

Bing has flashed toughness coming up and making hard hits on plays in front of him, but he does not show this tough/aggressive playing style consistent enough. On the most important plays, he has consistently cranked up his intensity level, which has helped him to make key plays in important situations. His overall production varies greatly throughout games; much of that is due to his level of competitiveness/aggressiveness. While he flashes a willingness to come up quickly in run support, more often than not he does not attack the play and allows himself to be blocked out of the play too easily. His playing speed gives him good range to make plays from sideline to sideline, but he struggles to move consistently well through traffic. He can read the passer, close quickly on passes in front of him and make a hard hit on the receiver right after the catch to break up pass, but he is not consistent in playing the pass. Despite having the ability to be a very good tackler who can deliver violent hits at the point of contact, too often Bing has a bad habit of stopping his feet before contact and lunges/dives to make the tackle. He ends up missing some tackles he should make. He generally competes hard chasing after the ball carrier in pursuit, but he does not consistently come up quickly in run support and too often quits fighting to make the play once a blocker makes contact with him.

Toughness Clutch Play Production Consistency Team Player Pride/Quit
5.5 6.0 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5

MENTAL ALERTNESS Section Grade: 5.5

Bing seems to be a smart football player, which has allowed the defense to move him around and line him up in a variety of safety alingments. He does not make mentals errors. He generally has good instincts, but not always. Occasionally he is late picking up the tight end's release and allows him to get separation behind him. Because he gets up high chasing after the ball, he struggles to react quick enough to adjust and tackle consistently on the move. Bing's biggest problem mentally is that he does not maintain his concentration well on every snap. His level of aggressiveness and tackling ability out in space suffer when he loses his focus/concentration.

Learn/Retain Instincts/Reactions Concentration
6.0 5.5 5.5


Bing has very good size for a safety; he definitely looks the part on the "Hoof." With his size, natural strength and athletic ability, he has everything it takes to be a very durable NFL safety -- He probably has helped a little by his not consistently coming up aggressively in run support. He is naturally a very explosive player who can explode to the ball carrier to make violent hits, but he does not do it consistently and his lack of aggressiveness causes him to not always show his explosive ability. He has very good natural strength, but does not play strong consistently. When he is unaggressive against blockers, he can be blocked out of plays too easily. When he dives/lunges, he is not nearly as strong a tackler at the point of attack as he is capable of.

Body Type Durability Explosion Play Strength
6.5 6.5 6.0 5.5
Darnell Bing

Safety - Ranked #6

Height: 6-1 3/4
Weight: 225 lbs.
Forty Time: 4.53 - Pro Day


2003: 69 TK 5 PBU 2 INT
2004: 63 TK 7 PBU 2 INT
2005: 50 TK 6 PBU 4 INT


Darnell Bing attended Poly High in Long Beach, California, where he was teammates with current Trojans Winston Justice and Hershel Dennis. Darnell was a three-year starter on a Poly team that won three consecutive CIF division I titles, with a record of 39-1-1. As a sophomore, Darnell totaled 85 tackles and 10 pass breakups. The following year he finished with 62 tackles and 2 interceptions, despite being hampered by injuries. He also scored three defensive touchdowns as a junior. As a senior in 2001, Darnell had his best season. He totaled 85 tackles, 5 interceptions and 1 sack. He also ran for 256 yards on offense, scoring 5 times in his 20 attempts. He was named first team all CIF division I, all-state, and all-American for his performance as a senior. Darnell was also a member of the Poly track team where he competed as a sprinter, long jumper, and triple jumper. Darnell accepted a scholarship to USC but was forced to attend Long Beach City College in 2002 because his grades weren’t good enough to get into USC. Darnell transferred to USC in the spring of 2003. He received permission from USC’s first Heisman Trophy winner, Mike Garrett (running back 1965), who is currently USC’s Athletic Director, to wear his #20 which was previously retired. Darnell earned the starting strong safety position as a freshman, a position he would hold onto for the next three years. As a freshman Bing racked up 69 tackles, 5 pass breakups and 2 interceptions. He was named freshman all-American, honorable mention all-pac ten, and pac ten defensive freshman of the year. As a sophomore Bing finished with 63 tackles, 7 pass breakups and 2 interceptions, despite missing three starts with a sprained shoulder. He was named second team all-pac ten for his performance that year. Darnell missed spring practices in 2005 while recovering from surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder. He finished his junior season with 50 tackles, 6 pass breakups, and a career high 4 interceptions. Even though he has one year of eligibility left, Darnell Bing applied for early entry into the 2006 NFL draft.


Darnell Bing possesses an excellent combination of size, strength, and athleticism for a safety. He has a great deal of experience having started at strong safety the past three seasons for the two-time National Champion USC Trojans. Bing is a player who brings a linebacker’s mentality to the safety position. He’s an extremely hard hitter who punishes receivers who dare to go over the middle against him. He has good overall speed and excellent closing speed. He is a very good run defender who sheds blocks well and takes good angles to the ball carrier. He has excellent instincts and always seems to put himself in position to make a big play. He is decent in coverage although he will struggle in man coverage at times. Darnell is a hard worker and a tough player who will play through minor injuries. Durability is going to be the biggest question when it comes to Bing. He really throws his body around out there which has led to quite a few injuries over the past three years. Darnell is an extremely talented player who has a chance to be the top safety selected and a first round pick in the 2006 NFL draft.
Darnell Bing

College: Southern Cal
Year: Junior
Height: 6'2
Weight: 220
Birthday: September 10, 1984

Bing! isn’t exactly the sound offensive players heard when they were struck by Southern Cal’s strong safety over the last three seasons. It probably sounded a lot more like a highway pileup, that is if they ever remained conscious enough to hear anything at all when Darnell Bing crashed into them.

Bing is all about the pileup. For the last three seasons, he has been a menace in the Trojan defensive backfield, exploding into any ball carriers that entered his domain. Sure, Bing tends to go for the hit moreso than the fundamental tackle, but he is a strong safety afterall. Big hits are their calling card.

Bing has the ideal physical makeup of a strong safety in the NFL, with good speed and natural overall athletic skills. His football instincts are solid, too. He’ll fight for a ball like it’s the last Eggo in the toaster. His hands are an asset in nabbing balls in flight, but they are also useful in special teams, too. Bing fielded five kickoffs last season for a 28.6-yard average per return. Just something to keep in mind if opposing teams try to kick away from All-Pro Jerome Mathis on gameday.

Bing’s dings, from hip flexors to separated shoulders, have slowed his development. The missed practices have made him an inconsistent player. When he does play, he goes full speed all the time. Coaches love it, but sometimes that can take a toll on the body. Bing may have declared his eligibility for the draft early because he fears another injury. While his dings have been relatively minor ones, a clean medical report will go a long way into how high Bing will be drafted.

Bing has been Southern Cal’s heir apparent to Troy Polamalu, so combined with his physical traits, the sky has always been the limit for Bing. The downside is that those lofty expectations made it a tough standard to always be measured against. Bing has better size than Polamalu (who checks in at 5’10” and 210 pounds). While the two have similar strengths and weaknesses in their games, Bing probably is a step slower. Given how well Polamalu has played for the Super Bowl champs though, Bing ought to welcome those comparisons.

This talented junior looks like a lock to enter the 2006 NFL Draft. Bing is simply put the prototype possessing many of the qualities of past Trojan Safeties like Mark Carrier and Ronnie Lott, but is bigger and faster than both at just under 220 and a prep sprinter with personal bests of 10.6 in the 100M and 21.8 in the 200M. If he stays healthy and has the kind of monster year many expect he could go in the first half of round 1. He reminds me actually more of former UCLA Sateties Ken Easley and Matt Darby. He originally signed with USC in 2002, but did not qualify for admission, so he attended Long Beach (Calif.) City College in 2002 as a part-time student (he didn't play football there). He won almost every award in high school under the sun. He was a 2001 Parade All-American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Tom Lemming All-American, Max Emfinger All-American, USA Today All-USA second team, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-Western Region, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Las Vegas Sun Super 11 first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division I first team, Los Angeles Times All-Southeast/South Coast first team and Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team honoree as a senior at Poly High in Long Beach (Calif.) After enrolling at USC in the spring of 2003, Bing easily won the job at strong safety as a first-year freshman in 2003. Overall in 2003 while starting all 13 games, he had 69 tackles (fourth on USC), including 2 for losses of 3 yards, plus a fumble recovery, 2 interceptions that he returned 34 yards (17.0 avg.) and 5 deflections. He made the 2003 The Sporting News, Scripps/Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American first team, Collegefootballnews.com and Rivals.com Freshman All-American first teams and All-Pac-10 honorable mention squad, as well as being named to the 2003 The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman first team (and he was Defensive Freshman of the Year). This giant playmaker has all the physical talent you could ever want in a safety and his potential is just unbelievable. He is very young and raw and needs to develop the mental aspects of his game. If Bing continues to improve his game and decides to turn pro, he could very well be the first safety off the board in the 2006 or 2007 NFL Draft; he has first round talent and pro bowl potential.
An article on Bing...

Panthers Prospect: Darnell Bing

Bing By: Jon Scott

Date: Apr 21, 2006

USC safety Darnell Bing shared a few minutes last week with Patriots Insider Jon Scott to answer some questions about family, running track, his time at USC and preparing for the Draft.

Considered one of the best safeties available in the 2006 NFL Draft, Darnell Bing recalled his roots citing those as reasons why he is well grounded headed toward what will be the start of his professional career.

When asked to describe his background and family life growing up, Bing talked about how thankful he was for his mom and his family who always supported him and encouraged him to succeed in sports whether playing football or running track. Sports were an important part of his life from grade school through high school and on into college. It is a passion his brothers still share with him. Darnell's voice picked up with a level of appreciation simply addressing what his brothers were doing now.

"One of my brothers goes to Cal State Dominguez," said Bing with pride. " My other brother is a real estate agent, and he lives in Sacramento California."

The brothers were close growing up. "We were all that we had," said Bing of his family. The brothers still live close enough that they could get together on weekends to watch Darnell play for the Trojans. They supported his goal of trying to make the leap to the NFL. Although he doesn't see them as much, Bing appreciates the time together.

"They always come down on weekends so we always get together then," Bing remarked.

In high school Bing was a multi-sport athlete. He was part of the track team, an interest he carried from his younger days, but it was the football field where he earned his accolades. 2001 Parade All American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American were just a few of the many honors Bing acquired.

"Those meant a lot to me," Bing remarked. "It's always a wonderful feeling to be rewarded for some of the things you have done in the sport that you love the most."

Indeed. Splitting time at running back and defensive back, Bing loved playing on both sides of the ball. The more playing time the better was how he looked at it. His success on defense and the ability to make big plays appealed to him.

"When I first started [playing football] I was a more of a running back," said Bing. "Since high school, I played mostly defense so I pretty much got the love of defense over running back then."

Track was another part of Bing's athletic life. Although by the time he became a starter on varsity, football rapidly took over as his favorite sport. He appreciated participating in track, because he says it helped him with speed. He claimed he kept at it to stay in shape.

"When there were long plays on the other side of the field, it helped me run the ball down," Bing commented about the benefits of running track. "It came in handy."

Bing is leaving USC with another year of eligibility remaining. Although he hasn't graduated yet, he plans on returning to get his degree in Public Policy, Management and Planning at the University. "Yeah, I plan on going back to finish," Bing acknowledged, but after football.

It is football first now for the Draft hopeful.

"I set a lot of goals for myself in the beginning of the season I felt that I accomplished pretty much everything I wanted," Bing said about his decision to leave early. "Then the support from my friends and family and my coaching staff that also helped me with my main goal that was to make the jump to the NFL."

Although some thought Bing might be a bit raw to leave USC and that his prospects would be better if he remained for another season, Bing felt it was time.

"A lot of people said it would be a good time [to leave early]. I also heard from a lot of people that it would be even better if I were to come back my senior year."

The decision has been made, and it's time for his NFL career to begin. Bing is a top 10 rated safety according to most draft publications. He is projected to be a first-day, likely in the first or second round selection.

"He probably won't make it past the fifth slot in the second round," said Bing's agent Jamal Tooson.

San Francisco is one of the teams expressing interest in the former Trojan. They also hold the fifth pick of the second round. According to Tooson the 49ers met with Bing prior to his pro day on April 2, 2005. The Patriots and the Panthers were two others to meet with the talented safety.

In his senior season Bing managed 50 tackles, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss, four interceptions for 119 return yards with six passes defensed and one forced fumble. He saw time on the kick off unit managing 5 returns for 143 yards (28.6 avg).
From Brandt...I assume he talked with Art....

He doesn't have good coverage skills for a safety, but they announced they're going to play him at linebacker. He's a good player who has a good opportunity to convert to LB.
Raiders Grab USC S Bing

April 30, 2006

The Raiders have selected USC safety Darnell Bing in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft. In 37 games at Southern California, Bing started 35 times. He recorded 182 tackles (120 solos) and had 12.5 stops for losses of 29 yards, including an assisted sack. He caused three fumbles while recovering another. He deflected eighteen passes and intercepted eight others for 161 yards in returns (20.1 avg) and a touchdown.


His 161 yards on eight interception returns rank fourteenth on the school's career-record list...His 119 yards on four interception returns in 2005 rank seventh on the Trojans' season-record list behind Tyrone Hudson (129 in 1969), Bruce Dyer (131 in 1971), Charles Phillips (NCAA record 302 in 1974), Dennis Thurman (170 in 1976), Ronnie Lott (166 in 1980) and Chris Claiborne (159 in 1998).


All-American first-team selection by the Associated Press and Rivals.com, adding second-team honors from The NFL Draft Report and Walter Camp Foundation...Semi-finalist for the 2005 Thorpe Award and quarter-finalist for the Lott Trophy...All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice...Finished eighth on the team with 50 tackles (36 solos), including 2.5 stops for losses of 4 yards&Caused a fumble and had six pass deflections...Intercepted four passes for 119 yards (seventh-best season total in school history) in returns with a touchdown...Saw action as a kickoff returner during several midseason games, gaining 143 yards on five attempts (28.6 avg).


All-Pac 10 Conference second-team selection...He managed 63 tackles (43 solos), including an assisted sack for minus 5 yards and eight stops for losses of 22 yards&Caused two fumbles, deflected seven passes and gained 8 yards on a pair of interception returns.


Freshman All-American first-team selection by The Sporting News and Scripps/Football Writers Association...All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention...Named Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News...After enrolling at USC in the spring of 2003, Bing emerged as the starting strong safety...Started every game, recording 69 tackles (41 solos) with two stops for losses of 3 yards...Recovered a fumble, deflected five passes and intercepted two others for 34 yards in returns.
From Art....

First Day Haul

April 29, 2006

The Oakland Raiders sailed through the day of the 2006 NFL Draft and added three exciting, young players to the roster. After selecting Texas safety Michael Huff with the #7 overall pick, the Raiders chose Texas-El Paso LB Thomas Howard and Weber State offensive lineman Paul McQuistan in the second and third rounds respectively.

"It's been exciting for us because we're hitting on all cylinders and getting the guys we want," Raiders Head Coach Art Shell said. "I really like our Draft. I really like the guys we got."

"He is a very versatile player that can play any one of those positions in the secondary," Coach Shell said of Michael Huff. "There are a lot of things that he can do and he brings a lot to our football team."

"We are really excited about this kid, he is very fast, he has great coverage ability, he has the ability to rush the passer," Coach Shell said of Howard. "We look forward to him coming in here and being a part of what we're trying to do."

"Paul McQuistan is a tough guy, has good strength, plays with tenacity, runs well," Coach Shell said. "He has excellent size. He is one tough guy. I really like him."

"We think he has qualities that we are looking for. He is a very tenacious individual," Coach Shell continued. "All the things you look for in an offensive lineman, we feel he has all of those qualities."
From PFT...


Adam Schefter reports that the Oakland Raiders will move fourth-round selection Darnell Bing from safety to linebacker.

Bing, who like most of his USC colleagues ended up sliding in the draft, is considered a little slow to be a safety, but he'll be regarded as fast for a linebacker. And he's definitely got the size to make it work.
So we drafted two OLBs with minimal brain function. Heh. Well, I'll remain hopeful.
So I was operating in a vacuum until this morning. And when i saw we selected Bing I thought, "Is Huff going to play CB?" It just doesn't make sense. Why did we draft Bing.

Now reading that we're moving him to LB, it makes sense. It also makes sense why we never moved Gibson to backer, he's not that smart. But his skill set lend themself more to backer than safety, and I guess that's what they see in Bing.

Bing does have the frame to put on a little more weight. Shit, we don't need 270 lb backers, please, no more of those guys.

Personally, I never could believe we went through so many season with so few real backers on the team. Even in the 90's I looked at the roster and saw 4 or 5 guys there I didn't understand it. So recently when we claimed 275 lb DE's were backers, I never saw them. They were DE's. 4 backers and one goes IR. Not smart.
More on Art's plans for Bing and words by Art...

Raiders continue to focus on defense in draft

ALAMEDA, Calif. - Darnell Bing feels comfortable at his current weight and position, even though the Oakland Raiders intend on having him change both.

Bing, a three-year starter at strong safety for Southern Cal, will play outside linebacker in the NFL after the Raiders drafted him in the fourth round on Sunday. Oakland wants Bing to pack on an additional 10 pounds to his 6-foot-2, 227-pound frame.

"I am sure if I gain a few pounds it won't hurt my speed," said Bing, who has been clocked at 4.55 in the 40-yard dash.

The Raiders spent three of their first four draft picks on defensive players in hopes of improving a unit that was 27th overall in 2005. Bing's selection came on the heels of Texas safety Michael Huff, Oakland's first-round pick, and outside linebacker Thomas Howard, a second-round pick from Texas-El Paso.

Oakland also used the second day of the draft to address problems along its offensive line, picking up Cornell's Kevin Boothe in the sixth round and Michigan State center Chris Morris in the seventh. A day earlier, the Raiders acquired guard Pete McQuistan from Weber State in the third round.

Wide receiver Kevin McMahan was the Raiders' final pick Sunday and the last pick overall in the draft, earning him the distinction of being this year's Mr. Irrelevant.

This is the second straight year the Raiders targeted defense as their most pressing need, though first-year coach Art Shell said it was more coincidence than by design.

"Going in we felt we needed some help on defense and we felt we could do that and find capable people," Shell said. "But if those guys weren't there and an offensive guy came across the board that we felt we couldn't pass on, we would have taken the offensive guy."

Bing, a first-team All-America pick as a senior, started 35 games in three seasons as the Trojans' strong safety but will be moved to linebacker with the Raiders, who were extremely thin at the position last year.

Kirk Morrison led Oakland in tackles as a rookie and veteran Danny Clark's leadership proved valuable in 2005 but the team had little depth beyond that.

"He can play in the box and he can run and he can cover," Shell said of Bing. "Those are qualities that a linebacker has to have. The key thing for us is can he add the weight and not lose the speed."

Boothe, who suffered a broken hand in 2003 while tucking in his jersey, spent the last two seasons playing tackle at Cornell but will be moved to guard in Oakland. Morris may get an initial look at long-snapper but could push incumbent starter Jake Grove for the center job.

Grove opened 2005 as Oakland's starting center but was bothered by a shoulder injury that required surgery early in the season. He split time between center and left guard, though Shell said the team will keep Grove at center in 2006.

Raiders' owner Al Davis was critical of Oakland's offensive line during the offseason and understandably so. Despite the additions of wide receiver Randy Moss and running back LaMont Jordan a year ago, the Raiders finished just 4-12, were ranked only 21st in total offense, 23rd in scoring and gave up 45 sacks.

"First of all, we need to get the guys up front stronger and better," said Shell, a Hall of Fame tackle during his 15-year NFL career. "If we do that, then we'll be OK."

McMahan was selected by Oakland with the 255th overall pick. It is the third time in four years the Raiders have had the final pick in the draft.
Bing talks about work ethic...

Another day brings another safety

By Steve Corkran

ALAMEDA - Some place, somewhere, Raiders veteran strong safety Derrick Gibson must be saying, "Hey, remember me?"

Apparently not. That, or the Raiders perhaps are all too mindful of having spent a first-round draft pick on Gibson in 2001 and have grown tired of waiting for a commensurate return on their sizable investment.

That much became apparent in the NFL draft this weekend as the Raiders drafted a high-profile safety for the second straight day Sunday as the marquee selection of their four picks in rounds four through seven.

The addition of Southern Cal strong safety Darnell Bing makes it plenty clear for Gibson and other safety candidates that the status quo isn't good enough for Raiders coach Art Shell.

Bing joins first-round selection Michael Huff -- they played against each other in the national championship game in January -- as versatile players who entered the draft as the top-rated safeties, according to one publication, and found their way onto a team in need of their services.

"Going into the draft, we felt we needed help on defense," Shell said. "We answered part of that with Michael Huff. ... We feel pretty good where we are right now."

The arrival of two top-flight safeties doesn't necessarily portend the end of Gibson's Raiders career. Huff almost assuredly will win a starting spot, but it might be as a safety masquerading as a rover in much the same manner that Charles Woodson was used last season.

In that scenario, the Raiders likely would use two linebackers and five defensive backs, with Gibson and Stuart Schweigert at the safety spots.

Bing has the build and mentality of a prototypical strong safety, yet the Raiders envision him converting to linebacker, Shell said Sunday.

"The key for us is can he add the weight and not lose the speed," Shell said of a player who will be asked to add at least 10 pounds to his 225-pound build.

That gives the Raiders three potential candidates to fill the outside linebacker spot opposite Kirk Morrison: Bing, second-round draftee Thomas Howard and fourth-year player Sam Williams.

A knee injury to Williams in training camp last season prompted the Raiders to try converted defensive linemen Tyler Brayton and Grant Irons at the outside linebacker spots.

That experiment lasted all of one quarter in Oakland's regular-season opener against the New England Patriots. It also necessitated defensive coordinator Rob Ryan using an extra defensive back in place of a linebacker much of the time.

The Raiders cut Gibson soon after the 2005 season, then re-signed him to a more favorable contract for 2006. He missed most of last season after sustaining a dislocated left wrist.

Bing doesn't lack confidence or shy away from a challenge. He asked for and received permission from Southern Cal athletic director Mike Garrett to wear Garrett's retired No. 20 jersey.

"I've been working out with guys in the NFL since I was in high school," Bing said in a conference call. "I would say that my work ethic is pretty high. And in practice, I'm making sure I got everything down to a T, so therefore I can take it to the game and it'll come that much easier."

Also, he was part of the celebrated Long Beach Poly High School football team that put its reputation on the line against De La Salle in the latter half of his high school career. Bing and Poly lost to De La Salle in the teams' first meeting in 2000, thanks to four touchdowns by De La Salle running back Maurice Drew.

In the 2001 meeting, Bing taped to the back of his uniform, on his shoulder pads, the words "Drew Who?" The words were sandwiched around a picture of Drew.

Drew once again got the better of Bing and Poly in a lopsided victory at Cal. That didn't stop Southern Cal from pouncing on Bing as soon as he graduated.

The Raiders used their sixth- and the first of their two seventh-round picks on offensive linemen Kevin Boothe and Chris Morris, respectively.

Neither is viewed as a cinch to make the 53-man, opening-day roster, though both give the Raiders insurance in case any of their many veterans get injured during training camp or don't meet Shell's expectations.

In all, the Raiders spent the entire draft addressing problem areas from last season. Shell said his first draft with the Raiders since 1994 "went well for the Raiders. I would say that we got the majority of the players that we wanted."
Here are top values and reaches from NFLCountdown...

Top Values

Went Lower Than They Should Have

• Matt Leinart, QB, Southern Cal
Arizona Cardinals
Rounds One (#10 Overall)

• Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
New England Patriots
Round Two (#36 Overall)

• Winston Justice, OT, Southern Cal
Philadelphia Eagles
Round Two (#39 Overall)

• Richard Marshall, CB, Fresno St.
Carolina Panthers
Round Two (#58 Overall)

• Eric Winston, OT, Miami (FL)
Houston Texans
Round Three (#66 Overall)

• Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio St.
Buffalo Bills
Round Three (#70 Overall)

• Max Jean-Gilles, OG, Georgia
Philadelphia Eagles
Round Four (#99 Overall)

• Darnell Bing, S, Southern Cal
Oakland Raiders
Round Four (#101 Overall)

• Ko Simpson, S, South Carolina
Buffalo Bills
Round Four (#105 Overall)

• Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan
Arizona Cardinals
Round Four (#107 Overall)

• Jonathan Scott, OT, Texas
Detroit Lions
Round Five (#141 Overall)

• Babatunde Oshinowo, DT, Stanford
Cleveland Browns
Round Six (#181 Overall)

• Marcus Hudson, S, North Carolina St.
San Francisco 49'ers
Round Six (#192 Overall)

• Greg Eslinger, C, Minnesota
Denver Broncos
Round Six (#198 Overall)

• Zach Strief, OT, Northwestern
New Orleans Saints
Round Seven (#1210 Overall)

• Rodrique Wright, DT, Texas
Miami Dolphins
Round Seven (#226 Overall)

• Dee Webb, CB, Florida
Jacksonville Jaguars
Round Seven (#236 Overall)

Top Reaches

Went Higher Than They Should Have

• Donte Whitner, S, Ohio St.
Buffalo Bills
Rounds One (#8 Overall)

• Tamba Hali, DE, Penn St.
Kansas City Chiefs
Round One (#20 Overall)

• John McCargo, DT, North Carolina St.
Buffalo Bills
Round One (#26 Overall)

• Ryan Cook, C, New Mexico
Minnesota Vikings
Round Two (#51 Overall)

• Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Alabama St.
Minnesota Vikings
Round Two (#64 Overall)

• Anthony Schlegel, ILB, Ohio St.
New York Jets
Round Three (#76 Overall)

• James Anderson, OLB, Virginia Tech
Carolina Panthers
Round Three (#88 Overall)

• Frostee Rucker, DE, Southern Cal
Cincinnati Bengals
Round Three (#91 Overall)

• Jason Hatcher, DE, Grambling St.
Dallas Cowboys
Round Three (#92 Overall)

• Stephen Gostkowski, K, Memphis
New England Patriots
Round Four (#118 Overall)

• Nate Salley, S, Ohio St.
Carolina Panthers
Round Four (#121 Overall)

• Anthony Montgomery, DT, Minnesota
Washington Redskins
Round Five (#153 Overall)

• Tony Moll, OT, Nevada
Green Bay Packers
Round Five (#165 Overall)

• Cortland Finnegan, S, Samford
Tennessee Titans
Round Seven (#215 Overall)

• Kili Lefotu, OG, Arizona
Washington Redskins
Round Seven (#230 Overall)

• Justin Phinisee, CB, Oregon
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round Seven(#235 Overall)

• Anthony Cannon, OLB, Tulane
Detroit Lions
Round Seven (#247 Overall)
Now wait a minute! Is this the first time in history we haven't loaded up the drafted higher than they should have been list? I think the reporters are slipping. Most people point to Thomas Howard as a HUGE reach. I even saw our draft downgraded to a C because of it (that and letting Leinart pass).

I saw other teams given much more of a break for taking bigger reaches. Bah!
I haven't seen anyone call Howard a reach. We took him roughly where I've been seeing him slotted. I'd rather have a smart LB than a fast one, but he's ours now. Hopefully he'll be fine.

And I thought the same thing the first time I read that list. We didn't get called out once for reaching. Amazing.
Well then you didn't read the report card from the yahoo at Yahoo: AFC Reportcard

Angel also posted it here.
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.