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 Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images /

Trey Flowers, DE, New England Patriots

To be honest, I’m fairly conflicted when it comes to Trey Flowers. The New England Patriots’ young defensive end has done a great job of getting after quarterbacks throughout his first four seasons in the NFL, but he hasn’t been quite as productive as the other edge rushers set to be available.

My main problem is that I believe Flowers will be overpaid when he hits the open market in March. Although I wouldn’t call him an elite talent, his general effectiveness and ability to hunt quarterbacks should land him a huge contract that pays him far more than he’s probably worth.

Still, the Raiders have plenty of money to spend this offseason. If they miss on the other top names set to be available, Flowers wouldn’t be the worst consolation prize.

Over the last three seasons, Flowers has amassed 21 sacks while also serving as a key piece of the Patriots’ run defense. A well-rounded defensive end with the ability to make an impact no matter what is thrown at him, he thrives with his ability to read, react and put himself in position to be menace.

After missing his entire rookie season, Flowers has seen steady progress as the Patriots’ top pass-rushing threat. If the Raiders are truly invested in upgrading the pass rush without having to depend on a rookie, signing the 2015 fourth-round pick out of Arkansas wouldn’t be the worst idea.