Raiders: Top 3 positions to target in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft

Raiders (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Raiders (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

3. Interior Defensive Line

The Raiders defense has actually improved this season — most notably with its pass rush and secondary. Injuries have sidelined many of their top contributors, but the potential for next season is still apparent.

That said, one area that still remains a weakness is the team’s run defense.

While some of that is absolutely due to the team’s lackluster linebackers — we’ll get to that later — it’d be difficult to claim that the Raiders have gotten acceptable production out of their defensive linemen this season.

Maxx Crosby has been a revelation on the edge and even Clelin Ferrell has had his moments after a rough start, but the Raiders still remain weak along the interior of their defensive line.

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Maurice Hurst has seemingly taken a step back and neither Johnathan Hankins or P.J. Hall have done much of note this season. The Raiders could use an impact player patrolling the middle of the defense line and they might have the opportunity to snag such a player in the upcoming draft.

The consensus top interior defensive lineman is Auburn’s Derrick Brown who surprisingly opted to return this season after being considered a near-universal first-round pick last year. But he will likely be out of Oakland’s draft range.

If not Brown, South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw represents an intriguing fit while other first-round targets could be Alabama’s Raekwon Davis, Flordia State’s Marvin Wilson, or even Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore.

Either way, there should be options and don’t be surprised if the Raiders opt to target the position in the first round if the right player falls into their laps.