The 2018 Oakland Raiders might have a completely different looking defensive line compared to last season’s. Perhaps the Silver and Black will be looking to free agency for some reinforcements.
Justin Ellis (48 tackles, half a sack) is a free agent and rookie Eddie Vanderdoes tore his ACL in the season finale.
Before the draft, many teams will kick the tires on a lot of potential free agents. Some may be bargains whether they are older players or some that haven’t lived up to expectations or are seemingly always bitten by the injury bug.
Potentially, Vanderdoes may be back late in the year. Ellis played better as the season wore on but no one will ever mistake him for a young Sam Adams or Ted Washington. So re-signing him isn’t a “must.”
These are some interior players that may be looked at to help this upcoming season.
- Beau Allen – This Philadelphia Eagle would be loved by Jon Gruden. A tough, high-energy guy that will play thru the whistle and he’s only 26 years old.
- Star Lotulelei – This former 1st rounder was showing a lot of promise and then proceeded to have his worst season in 2017. If he can regain his form, he can be a force at defensive tackle. Yes, he would have been a better draft pick in 2013 than DJ Hayden.
- Dontari Poe – Another former 1st rounder that seems to have weight issues and wears down. Plays better in a rotation as he did with the Falcons the last season.
- Sheldon Richardson – The New York Jets had him on the trading block for a while and the Seattle Seahawks finally bit last year. Played ok but does come with baggage. Claims he wants to return to Seattle. When he plays hard though, he is one tough SOB.
Others to watch:
- Haloti Ngata – This former Pro Bowler still has the hunger to play. Why not one more year with the Raiders?
- Tom Johnson – This Viking tore his hamstring last year but can still play at 33 years old.
- Phil Taylor – Yes, another former 1st rounder (21st Overall in 2011). Tends to be injured a lot but can be a beast when healthy. Missed last season with a torn quad.
- Daniel McCullers – This giant (6’7″ 352 lbs.) got beat out by rookie standout Javon Hargrave in Pittsburgh. This is the type of guy Al Davis would have made get off the bus first.