Since 2019, the Las Vegas Raiders have revamped their defense. They have made the unit a priority in both free agency and the draft. Although the results aren’t there yet, slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner sees a young team full of talent.
The Raiders defense is a work in progress
The Raiders haven’t fielded a dominating defense in years. They have had a few playmakers here and there, but they haven’t had a top unit in a while. EDGE defender Khalil Mack was one of those playmakers they had on defense but the team traded him before the 2018 season. That season turned out to be a low point for the Raiders as they gave up 467 points and their defense ranked dead last in the NFL.
Thus, it wasn’t surprising to see them make it a priority to upgrade their defense in 2019. They signed defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and drafted defensive end Clelin Ferrell, safety Johnathan Abram, defensive end Maxx Crosby and cornerback Trayvon Mullen. Abram ended up missing the year but the Raiders ended up allowing 419 points and ranked 24th in points surrendered. It was a step in the right direction.
This year, the Silver and Black kept allocating resources to the defensive side of the ball. They inked defensive tackle Maliek Collins and defensive end Carl Nassib. Moreover, they chose cornerback Damon Arnette in the players’ selection process. So far, the Raiders defense has given up 90 points in three weeks and ranks 25th in points allowed.
There is a young nucleus in place
Even though the Raiders defense has regressed early in 2020, Lamarcus Joyner believes the pieces are in place for the team to have a dominant unit. In a YouTube video, the veteran defensive back says that players such as Crosby, Abram, and Mullen are part of the team’s defensive core and will be part of its future.
You see a lot of raw talent, great for the future of this organization. If you want to talk about winning championships, you need young guys like that moving forward. You know where the organization wants to be for years to come. I see the potential in those guys and it’s very encouraging.
Joyner is right, the potential is there. However, they will have eventually show results on the field. They can start as soon as Sunday against the 3-0 Buffalo Bills that is averaging 31 points per game.
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