Oakland Raiders: Underrated targets during 2019 NFL free agency

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /
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Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images /

Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Denver Broncos

I’ve always been a big fan of the concept of teams stealing talent away from divisional rivals. It works two ways — you’re not only taking playmakers away from teams you see twice per year, but you’re giving them an opportunity to stick it to their former employers twice per year.

That would just be the cherry on top if the Raiders signed Shaquil Barrett.

Arguably one of the most underrated pass rushers in the NFL, Barrett continues to shine despite limited snaps for the Denver Broncos defense. Despite coming in as an undrafted free agent, he’s spent the last five years taking advantage of the limited chances presented to him.

Across the previous four seasons, Barrett has racked up 14 sacks while playing in a limited role. Even this past campaign, while serving as the Broncos’ third-string outside linebacker, he managed 28 tackles and three sacks in only 275 defensive snaps. With those numbers, Barrett would have been second in sacks for the Oakland defense in 2018.

Is Barrett the solve-all for the Raiders? Not really. However, it takes more than one quality pass rusher to fix the problems currently plaguing this defense. Adding Barrett would provide excellent depth and a veteran presence along Oakland’s defensive front.