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 Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images /

Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys

If there’s any defensive end worth throwing money at this offseason, though, it’s Demarcus Lawrence. That is, if the Dallas Cowboys even let him hit the open market.

Chances are high the Cowboys will find a way to re-sign him before the new league year begins. Even if they don’t, they’ll probably slap him with the franchise tag for a second year in a row. While the chances of him becoming a free agent are slim, Lawrence is a talent every other team desperately wants on their roster.

The Raiders are no exception. They obviously failed to get after opposing passers this season, the reason being a lack of talent along the defensive front. Adding Lawrence to the mix would give them a proven pass rusher who is more than capable of equaling the amount of sacks Oakland managed as a whole in 2018 — that’s 13.

Since entering the league in 2014, Lawrence has racked up 34 total sacks, including 25 over the last two seasons. In no time at all, he’s convinced the rest of the league that he should be regarded as one of the NFL’s elite defensive ends. Watching him play on Sundays makes that an easy argument to get behind.

Next. Big-name free agents Raiders must avoid in 2019. dark

The Raiders need help at defensive end in the worst of ways. As unlikely as it is that Lawrence becomes available this offseason, Gruden and Co. would be nuts to ignore him if he were to splash his way into the free agent pool come March.