Nik Bonitto and Ronnie Perkins are two EDGE defenders that the Las Vegas Raiders need to keep an eye on next year in April.
The Raiders defense has struggled all year against both the run and the pass. If that isn’t’ bad enough, Jon Gruden’s defense couldn’t get to opposing quarterbacks, totaling a puny 16 sacks. The Silver and Black has talent in the edges with Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. Vic Beasley’s already in-house and ready to contribute, though it’s not known if there are long-term plans for him.
Regardless, the Raiders have to look at all options available when it comes to the draft next April. There are two EDGE rushers by way of the University of Oklahoma that will be available.
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Raiders should keep Bonitto and Perkins on their watchlist…
Linebacker Nick Bonitto was dominant in the BIG 12, especially the last two seasons. He garnered eleven and a half sacks, 17 tackles for a loss, and six passes defensed. He’s also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award. The Draft Network also noted that Bonitto ranked 12th in the nation with 35 pressures, something the Raiders need more of next year.
Perkins has also made himself alongside Bonitto, he too has put up impressive numbers. Over the course of three seasons and 31 games played, Perkins totaled 95 total tackles. He notched 16.5 sacks and punished offenses with 31 tackles for a loss. Perkins’ raw power and strength along with his hands are his most noteworthy attributes, according to Jordan Reid of The Draft Network.
He goes on to say, ‘His [Perkins] unique power and strength help him to remain clean as a run defender.‘ Being able to contribute to the Raiders run defense and also being able to get to quarterbacks should raise eyebrows.
Pro Football Focus is also very high on Perkins and Bonitto. Perkins grades out at 91.8 in the run defense department and 90.5 for his pass-rushing abilities. Bonitto has an impressive pass-rush grade of 93.3, but his run defense appears to a weakness and grades at 65.7 for the year. Either way, both of these studs should be on Gruden and Mike Mayock’s radar come April.
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