Three Raiders named second-team All-Pro

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Three Raiders named second-team All-Pro

For the first time since 2006, the Raiders did not have a first-team All-Pro player on the Associated Press' All-Pro team, which was announced on Friday.Rather, Oakland had a trio of second-teamers in punter Shane Lechler, placekicker Sebastian Janikowski and defensive tackle Richard Seymour.Also, fullback Marcel Reece (two), left tackle Jared Veldheer (two) and strong safety Tyvon Branch (one) picked up votes.

I was one of 50 voters in a nationwide panel for the A.P. awards and following is my ballot, along with the voting totals of the All-Pro team...MY BALLOT:OFFENSE:WR (2) -- Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson; New England Patriots' Wes WelkerTE (1) -- New England Patriots' Rob GronkowskiT (2) -- MIami Dolphins' Jake Long; Baltimore Ravens' Michael OherG (2) -- New Orleans Saints' Jahri Evans; New England Patriots' Logan MankinsC (1) Green Bay Packers' Scott WellsQB (1) -- Green Bay Packers' Aaron RodgersRBs (2) -- Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew; Baltimore Ravens' Ray RiceFBs (1) -- Green Bay Packers' John KuhnPlace Kicker (1) -- San Francisco 49ers' David Akers Kick Returner (1) -- Chicago Bears' Devin HesterDEFENSE:DE (2) -- Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen; New York Giants' Jason Pierre-PaulDT (2) -- San Francisco 49ers' Justin Smith; Baltimore Ravens' Haloti NgataOLB (2) -- Baltimore Ravens' Terrell Suggs; Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware ILB (2) -- San Francisco 49ers' Patrick Willis; Washington's London FletcherCB (2) -- New York Jets' Darrelle Revis; Green Bay Packers' Charles WoodsonS (2) -- San Diego Chargers' Eric Weddle; Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy PolamaluPunter (1) -- Oakland Raiders' Shane Lechler

THE FULL AP RESULTS:
OFFENSE

QuarterbackAaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 47 1-2; Drew Brees, New Orleans, 2 1-2.x-Running BacksMaurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville, 40; LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, 29; Ray Rice, Baltimore, 24; Arian Foster, Houston, 3; Frank Gore, San Francisco, 1; Matt Forte, Chicago, 1; Darren Sproles, New Orleans, 1.FullbackVonta Leach, Baltimore, 42; John Kuhn, Green Bay, 6; Marcel Reece, Oakland, 2.Tight EndRob Gronkowski, New England, 44 1-2; Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, 5 1-2.Wide ReceiversCalvin Johnson, Detroit, 49; Wes Welker, New England, 23; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, 15; Victor Cruz, New York Giants, 9; Steve Smith, Carolina, 2; Jordy Nelson, Green Bay, 1; Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh, 1.TacklesJason Peters, Philadelphia, 27; Joe Thomas, Cleveland, 19; Duane Brown, Houston, 11; Joe Staley, San Francisco, 11; Eric Winston, Houston, 10; Jake Long, Miami, 5; Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans, 3; Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati, 3; Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay, 3; Michael Oher, Baltimore, 2; Jared Veldheer, Oakland, 2; Tyron Smith, Dallas, 1; Anthony Davis, San Francisco, 1; Jordan Gross, Carolina, 1; Michael Roos, Tennessee, 1.GuardsJahri Evans, New Orleans, 29; Carl Nicks, New Orleans, 27; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 17; Logan Mankins, New England, 10; Brian Waters, New England, 5; Chris Kuper, Denver, 4; Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay, 3; Chris Snee, New York Giants, 2; Evan Mathis, Philadelphia, 2; Mike Iupati, San Francisco, 1.CenterMaurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh, 13; Ryan Kalil, Carolina, 11; Nick Mangold, New York Jets, 11; Chris Myers, Houston, 7; Scott Wells, Green Bay, 7; John Sullivan, Minnesota, 1.PlacekickerDavid Akers, San Francisco, 32; Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland, 14; Rob Bironas, Tennessee, 1; Matt Bryant, Atlanta, 1; Matt Prater, Denver, 1; Josh Scobee, Jacksonville, 1.Kick ReturnerPatrick Peterson, Arizona, 33; Devin Hester, Chicago, 10; Darren Sproles, New Orleans, 3; Ted Ginn Jr., San Francisco, 2; Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, 1; Joe McKnight, New York Jets, 1.DEFENSEEndsJared Allen, Minnesota, 49; Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants, 34; Justin Smith, San Francisco, 9; Jason Babin, Philadelphia, 7; Elvis Dumervil, Denver, 1.TacklesHaloti Ngata, Baltimore, 38; Justin Smith, San Francisco, 35; Geno Atkins, Cincinnati, 9; Richard Seymour, Oakland, 5; Vince Wilfork, New England, 5; B.J. Raji, Green Bay, 1; Calais Campbell, Arizona, 1; Henry Melton, Chicago, 1; Mike Patterson, Philadelphia, 1; Sione Pouha, New York Jets, 1; Jay Ratliff, Dallas, 1; Ndamukong Suh, Detroit, 1; J.J. Watt, Houston, 1.Outside LinebackersTerrell Suggs, Baltimore, 47; DeMarcus Ware, Dallas, 42; Tamba Hali, Kansas City, 4; Von Miller, Denver, 4; Clay Matthews, Green Bay, 2; Sean Weatherspoon, Atlanta, 1.Inside LinebackerPatrick Willis, San Francisco, 32; NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco, 16; Derrick Johnson, Kansas City, 16; Brian Cushing, Houston, 13; London Fletcher, Washington, 8; Ray Lewis, Baltimore, 3; Brian Urlacher, Chicago, 3; Daryl Washington, Arizona, 3; Lance Briggs, Chicago, 2; D'Qwell Jackson, Cleveland, 2; DeMeco Ryans, Houston, 1; Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh, 1;CornerbacksDarrelle Revis, NY Jets, 48; Charles Woodson, Green Bay, 19; Johnathan Joseph, Houston, 18; Carlos Rogers, San Francisco, 10; Champ Bailey, Denver, 3; Brandon Flowers, Kansas City, 1; Charles Tillman, Chicago, 1.SafetiesTroy Polamalu, Pittsburgh, 29; Eric Weddle, San Diego, 20; Ed Reed, Baltimore, 17; Earl Thomas, Seattle, 16; Kam Chancellor, Seattle, 5; Adrian Wilson, Arizona, 4; Dashon Goldson, San Francisco, 3; Jairus Byrd, Buffalo, 2; Bernard Pollard, Baltimore, 2; Roman Harper, New Orleans, 1; Tyvon Branch, Oakland, 1.PunterAndy Lee, San Francisco, 29; Shane Lechler, Oakland, 20; Britton Colquitt, Denver, 1.x-one voter selected only one running back.

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

ALAMEDA – Gareon Conley’s name has been sullied, at least temporarily. He feared it would be long enough to send him free falling down the NFL Draft.

The Ohio State cornerback and top-15 prospect was accused of rape stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland, an allegation he called “completely false.”

The Raiders clearly believe him. That’s why they drafted him No. 24 overall on Thursday evening, and expect him to be a long-term solution in their secondary.

Conley wasn’t sure how far he’d fall after being beaten down by one rough week, when the allegation went public. Reggie McKenzie’s first-round selection and subsequent call was more emotional than expected.

“It made it 10 times more special,” Conley said Thursday night in a conference call. “Just having that doubt in my mind, just not knowing (how far I would fall). Just having faith and having doubt, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When it came, it shocked me. It felt unreal, honestly. It still feels unreal.”

Being a top pick was expected after an excellent career at Ohio State. The rape accusation threatened to destroy his draft-day dreams. Conley has not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident, though an investigation is ongoing.

Conley said he volunteered to take a polygraph test that was shared with NFL teams, and reportedly passed the one he took. He said in a statement there are witnesses and video evidence proving he didn’t do anything illegal.

Conley spent the last few days trying to proclaim his innocence. 

He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police on Monday to discuss the April 9 incident -- he'll also submit a DNA sample, according to ESPN -- where group sex was suggested and a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted.

Conley believes his name will be cleared in time.

“I’m very confident it will be resolved," Conley said. "I took a test today that helps. Then when I made my statement and all the evidence that I have, I feel confident it’ll be resolved.”

Conley admits he shouldn’t have put himself in a compromising position, which occurred at a Cleveland hotel earlier this month.

“I could’ve made way better judgment,” Conley said. “I mean, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I definitely could’ve made a better decision.”

Conley hopes to move beyond it quickly and start focusing on football. He is scheduled to fly west for a press conference on Friday.

Conley is thankful to the Raiders for believing in him despite his recent troubles.

“It’s off the charts, honestly,” Conley said. “Just to know that they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person like that, it speaks highly of them, and I really appreciate it. It’s an honor to be a part of the Raider organization.”

McKenzie: Raiders did their 'due diligence' before drafting Gareon Conley

McKenzie: Raiders did their 'due diligence' before drafting Gareon Conley

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders used the No. 24 overall pick on Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley. This wasn’t a second-round flier or a late-round gamble.

That’s a first-round pick. Rolling the dice this early is ill advised. The Raiders don't believe they did with a selection accompanied by a $5.78 million signing bonus, $10.5 million in total money and a valuable fifth-year option to keep a player in town.

They wouldn’t risk such an asset on someone in serious legal trouble. The Raiders did significant research on Conley, who was accused of rape earlier this week, before making a selection. Results gave the Raiders confidence in their choice. 

Conley has not been arrested or charged over an allegation that stems from an April 9 interaction in a Cleveland hotel.

Conley said the accusations are “completely false,” in a statement released by his agent. He claims to have witnesses and video evidence that he didn’t do anything illegal during an exchange where group sex was suggested. He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police about the allegation and an investigation into it on Monday.

Conley said he took and passed polygraph test prior to the draft, hoping to avoid a free fall into the draft’s later rounds.

The Raiders clearly believe him. They wouldn’t have used such a high pick on the Ohio State cornerback otherwise. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team thoroughly investigated the matter, and felt comfortable using a high pick on someone who sat alone atop their draft board at No. 24 overall.

“We did our due diligence throughout this whole process,” McKenzie said Thursday night, after making the Conley pick. “We trust our research, reports, everything that we have on Mr. Conley. We feel really good about picking Gareon Conley and having him join the Raiders team and having him be a great teammate for our players.”

McKenzie didn’t detail the Raiders research efforts, but didn’t seem concerned about this off-field issue.

“I don’t want to get into all the details,” McKenzie said, “but the bottom line is that we’ve done miles and miles of research to make sure we were totally comfortable with our decision, which we were.”

McKenzie said he spoke with owner Mark Davis about Conley, as he does most first-round options.

The Raiders were impressed by Conley’s workouts and his game tape. The rape accusation obviously gave the NFL pause regarding his draft status, and he slipped somewhat in the first round.

The Raiders are confident following an internal investigation that his legal troubles will pass without incident.

“The research was done,” McKenzie said. "It wasn’t just a gut (feeling). It was based on research, and we’re very confident in all the information that we got.”