Oakland Raiders: Realistic options at No. 4 during the 2019 NFL Draft

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images /
4 of 6
Oakland Raiders
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

Josh Allen, DE, Kentucky

For years, the Raiders have suffered from a severe lack of pass rushing talent – and no, that didn’t just start when they traded Khalil Mack to Chicago. It’s a problem that’s been festering for some time and was merely exacerbated by the Mack trade.

But, it really put a spotlight on the dearth of pass-rushing talent they have, recording just 13 sacks on the year as a team.

While some fans are pining for the likes of Ed Oliver or Quinnen Williams, the Raiders invested two picks on the interior of that defensive line last year in P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst. With the latter being everything they’d hoped for an more, it’s hard to see them investing yet another draft pick on an interior lineman.

What they desperately need are bodies on the edge who can get to the passer. They have one in Key, who figures to be better in Year 2 of his NFL experience and the Raiders could form a potent one-two punch by adding a pass rushing demon like Kentucky’s Josh Allen.

Coming out of Kentucky – which isn’t exactly known as a football factory – Allen put up some eye-popping numbers that should warrant serious consideration for that No. 4 pick. Over the course of his Wildcats career, Allen racked up 216 tackles (117 solo), 29.5 sacks, 39 tackles for a loss, and even tossed in eight passes defensed and an interception for good measure.

Putting an exclamation point on his college career, Allen notched three sacks and a blocked kick in Kentucky’s Citrus Bowl win over Penn State.

At 6-4, 258 pounds, Allen’s got great size for an end. He’s also quite obviously got the speed and a variety of moves that help him get home. He’s solid against the run, has fantastic closing speed, and is a solid finisher.

If they have to make a decision between Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Allen, the Raiders might like Allen’s versatility a little bit more since he can play either standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He can play both run and pass and could develop into a real force in the NFL.