The defensive struggles for the 2018 Oakland Raiders are well documented at this point and yet, there’s hope with the several foundational pieces in place for 2019.
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will have a plethora of young but unproven talent, highlighted by rookies Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, to work with in year two. There are also some sophomores coming back that will provide Guenther with solid contributors.
Pro Football Focus recently shared via Twitter some interesting grades for said contributors. Leading the way with a grade of 74.5 is safety Karl Joseph.
The highest graded #Raiders defensive players in 2018
Get PFF for all Raiders data: https://t.co/9k7sHfJKNE pic.twitter.com/PTMzLFT2Te
— PFF Las Vegas Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) May 24, 2019
Strangely enough, Joseph seems to be in no man’s land as far as his future is concerned. Many don’t see him in Silver and Black after this season, which would truly be a shame considering his pedigree and what he brings.
Related: Is Leonard Williams an option?
The other two standouts from these grades are on the defensive line. Maurice Hurst and Johnathan Hankins finished 2018 with a grade of 72.4 and 66.5 respectively. As stated before, the influx of incoming youth to this already young defensive line should bode well for the future even if the Raiders didn’t drop big money for pass rushers in free agency.
The concern seems to be that Guenther will have to rely on lot of inexperience at the defensive line but while that may be warranted, at least we know the secondary has excellent depth with the likes of safety Erik Harris who had a grade of 73.5 and Joseph himself.
What do you think Raider Nation, is the foundation already there or is there still much to be done? Let us know what you think in the comments!
You might also like: Trent Brown is a solid tackle regardless of the price