Raiders

Raiders Must Target These 3 Edge Rushers Early In the Draft

Las Vegas Raiders GM Mike Mayock (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

It’s that time of the year once again for the Raiders

NFL mock draft season is back. You can go on websites like Fanspeak, Pro Football Focus and The NFL Draft Network to play their draft simulator games. It’s your turn to play general manager for your favorite team. Many are fanatic consumers of all three simulators and read everyone’s mock draft from the fans and professionals.

Now, every mock this year should project the Raiders to address their defensive line. Pass defense has and always will start with a pass rush. It’s simple math really. If you can’t rush the passer, you can’t cover the receivers. So please, pretty please, pretty pretty please, stop with the nonsense.

You might have read a few articles here on The Raider Ramble about edge rushers, well, here’s another article about a few more. Remember, pass rushers equal pass defense. The edge rushers mentioned here are in no particular order except for maybe alphabetical. You play the mock draft simulator game; you decide which ones are best,

Azeez Ojulari could be the perfect LEO for the Raiders

Azeez Ojulari Ojulari is entering the NFL draft as a redshirt sophomore and is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds. Per Pro Football Focus, he is the third-best pure speed rusher in the draft with a 91.7 pass rushing grade. Moreover, they have him ranked 25th on their draft big board of top 100 players.

Ojulari led Georgia in tackles for loss with 12.5, 8.5 sacks, 25 quarterback hurries, and four forced fumbles. He was also a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive player. In Georgia’s biggest game of the year, The Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl against Cincinnati, the linebacker had three sacks and two forced fumbles, winning the defensive player MVP.

Ojualri is what is considered a “tweener,” maybe a little too small and lean to be a full- time hand in the dirt defensive end, but definitely gifted and talented enough to be in your rotation or an outside linebacker in the 3-4. Of course, he’s best at going forward rushing the passer than he is in coverage.

In today’s NFL, you find a position for athletes like Ojulari, you don’t overthink it. Ojulari would be perfect in Gus Bradley’s defense playing the “Leo” position. Standing up in a 2-point stance on the weakside attacking the quarterback, playing down- hill.

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Raiders draft target: Gregory Rosseau

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Biglar

Rousseau is the obvious pick. I love his length, size, athleticism, and production. Everything that a first-rounder should have – no need to “project” what he will do. And he may get back to the Raiders since he opted out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is gone. Phillips is a major medical risk with a concussion history, and will slide in the draft, probably back into the third or later. The kid from Georgia seems good, but the Raiders run a 4-3 and our current lightweight DE gets killed in the run game. He might be a better… Read more »