Whether the Las Vegas Raiders make it to the playoffs or not, there are some glaring holes that need addressing.
There are definitely some promising players who are shining in 2020 such as Clelin Ferrell and Trayvon Mullen. The team also has long-term contributors such as linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski and they should retain run-stuffer Johnathan Hankins.
Those positives aside, the two biggest areas of concern continue to haunt now Rod Marinelli’s defense. A lack of pass rush and the inability to cover opposing tight ends such as Travis Kelce. In our latest two-round mock scenario, the Silver and Black go a long way in taking care of those flaws.
Who do the Raiders go with?
1st Round, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, linebacker, Notre Dame
The inability to cover tight ends continues to haunt the Raiders in 2020. To be fair, when haven’t they? General manager Mike Mayock brought in free agent Cory Littleton to help deal with this problem. Unfortunately, it hasn’t helped but Owusu-Koramoah could be of use in this department.
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network points out that Owusu-Koramoah has a lot of experience in playing against tight ends at Notre Dame. Crabbs elaborates, “[he] was charged quite often with playing man coverage and playing turn & run against TEs in the slot.” Pro Football Focus gave him a 79.0 pass defense grade for 2020, and his grade for run defense sits at 82.1 as well. Totaling 22.5 tackles for a loss, seven passes defended, seven sacks, and five forced fumbles in two years is impressive.
Pass Rush Can Be Addressed In The Second Round
2nd Round, Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Along with tight end coverage, the Raiders need to boost their pass rush. Taking an interior lineman in the first round such as an upper-echelon defensive tackle could help Ferrell and Maxx Crosby. Hutchinson from Michigan could then help out at EDGE if he’s there in the second round. He’s battled a fractured right leg this season but in 2019 he had ten tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, and three and a half sacks.
Hutchinson could be a breath of fresh air now that we’ve seen what Arden Key can and can’t do. It’ll be interesting to see what the Raiders prioritize early in the draft, will it be the interior or the outside?
What are your thoughts, Raider Nation? Let us know your thoughts on this possibility.
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