Oakland Raiders: Top defensive ends to target in 2019 NFL free agency

Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images
Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images /
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Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

Finding an elite defensive end isn’t easy, but signing any of these three stars during 2019 NFL free agency would upgrade the Oakland Raiders’ pass rush.

Heading into the 2019 offseason, the Oakland Raiders have countless needs to address. One of the most pressing of needs, though, is the pass rush, which played a huge role in the franchise’s underwhelming finish during the 2018 campaign.

Put simply, adding a top-tier defensive end between now and September will be paramount to the Raiders’ success in 2019. Whether that’s via the 2019 NFL Draft or free agency, it’ll be imperative for Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock to find a pass rusher who can actually sack opposing quarterbacks every once in awhile.

Yes, the Raiders have some promising young assets to work with. Arden Key flashed potential as a potent pass rusher as a rookie, but is still a major work in progress. Apart from that, no other quality edge rushers are available on the roster. Maurice Hurst and P.J. Hall offer upside as interior pass rushers, but more help is absolutely necessary on the edge.

Instead of waiting until the 2019 NFL Draft to fill the need, though, the Raiders should at least attempt to add a premier pass rusher during free agency. If they’re going to do that, they need to target one of the three defensive ends I’m about to highlight.

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So without further ado, let’s look at three defensive ends who belongs on the Raiders’ free agency radar. It’ll be expensive to sign any of the three, but at least doing so would give Gruden more capable quarterback hunters than his defense had a season ago.