The Oakland Raiders defense struggled this past season; they gave up a manageable 98 yards rushing per game, but their pass defense ranked 25th, giving up 265 yards per game. Oakland gave up 26.2 points per game and the Raiders ranked 14th in total defense.
To improve the defense, Oakland needs to address the linebacker position, which they have neglected the past few seasons, opting to sign stopgap and project linebackers. The Raiders have been horrible in pass coverage, getting killed with short passing routes and have struggled to cover in space. I think they will address this problem in the draft and free agency; it’s something that finally needs to be handled.
Veteran Defensive End Presence
The Raiders had just 13 sacks in the 2018 season, so they drafted two defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby. With the addition of the two rookies Oakland pass rush was better and sacked the quarterback 32 times last year.
Ferrell got off to slow start but started to play better down the stretch of the season and ended up with 4.5 sacks. Maxx Crosby had a fantastic rookie season; he finished with ten sacks. Crosby played tremendous effort in every game. The pass rush improved, but it still needs to get better, adding some veteran defensive to go with the young guys can help. Adding experience can help Ferrell and Crosby with there growth. Robert Quinn will likely be available and would be an excellent addition for the Raiders.
Oakland’s secondary struggled against the pass in 2019; they gave up 256 yards per game and only intercepted nine passes. Free-agent acquisition LaMarcus Joyner, who struggled at slot corner all season, needs to be moved back to free safety, where he would play much better.
As far as the corners go, they need to get healthy and have time to develop. The Raiders have Trayvon Mullen, Isaiah Johnson, and Keisean Nixon, who will be in play for the slot position, on the roster. They can also re-sign Daryl Worley, who can play different positions.
It will be interesting to see if the Raiders will add more veteran corners.