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

Raiders (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

3. Defensive Line

Staying on the topic of defense, you can never have too much depth along the defensive line. It also doesn’t hurt to have a productive pass rush.

Last season, the Raiders had a team total of 32 sacks, good for 24th in the league. The bottom line? That’s not a very good pass rush.

For some context, the league’s leading individual sack leader was Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 19.5. That figure alone amounted to more than half of the sack production of the entire Raiders defense last season.

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I should point out that the team did have a double-digit sack player of their own in rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby, who posted 10 sacks in 2019, but the fact that he accounted for nearly 33% of the roster’s sack production is a bit concerning.

The next best sack number on the team was posted by veteran defensive end Benson Mayowa with seven. Consider that two players made up more than half of Las Vegas’s team sack total in 2019 and that should qualify the defensive line as a weakness.

Luckily, the upcoming draft provides ample options for addressing the defensive line.

While names like Chase Young and Derrick Brown will very likely be off the table by the time the Raiders pick at 12 and 19, other highly rated defensive linemen such as Javon Kinlaw, K’Lavon Chaisson, and Yetur Gross-Matos should all be available at either of the Raiders’ first-round selections.

Whether adding edge rusher depth or bolstering the interior, the defensive line could be a position to address in the first round.

Next. Las Vegas Raiders 2020 NFL Draft: Top WR target for each round. dark

Adding more pass-rushing talent in 2020 could go a long way in improving the quality of Paul Guenther’s defense as they look to enter Vegas with a bang.