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Raiders continue focus on run defense with DT Houston

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted April 23, 2010 @ 8:24 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The Raiders are busting stereotypes this year.

Two picks into their 2010 draft, they have yet to be duped into taking a workout warrior that doesn't impress to the same level on tape. They also addressed two needs with players that don't come with questions about work ethic, character or talent.

Whether MLB Rolando McClain and DT Lamarr Houston, who Oakland selected with the No. 44 pick after trading down two times, become great players remains to be seen, but on paper, they look like smart, capable additions.

The Raiders have shown a commitment to fixing their run-defense woes with these two picks. Houston, a quick, high-motor three-technique, will be expected to help knock blockers into the backfield and keep them off McClain so he can flow to the ball and make a tackle. Houston did plenty of that for middle 'backers during his college career at Texas and has the potential to be very disruptive in the opposing backfield.

Oakland could next turn its attention to the offensive line, where a tackle is needed. The Raiders, who have taken their share of draft busts, seem to be learning from past mistakes.


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