The Las Vegas Raiders need to desperately enhance their pass rush in 2021, and William Bradley-King could help them do that.
The Silver and Black hired Gus Bradley to be their new defensive coordinator. Coming with him will be a defense that rarely blitzes, meaning the front four will need to generate pressure.
Judging from the Raiders’ production at the defensive line position, that unit needs some help. Clelin Ferrell piled up pressures but couldn’t finish the job and Maxx Crosby regressed under Paul Guenther. William Bradley-King could help supplant the EDGE position for the Raiders.
An optimal scenario for Las Vegas would be to draft an interior lineman in the first round and sign a defensive tackle in free agency. Once they do that, they can then target Bradley-King on Day 3 of the draft.
What can Bradley-King bring to the Raiders?
Bradley-King is six-foot-four, has length and an impressive overall frame but he’s lacking in explosiveness. As far as collegiate production, the defensive end tallied 3.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss, and four passes defensed in his lone season at a Big 12 program, Baylor. Prior, Bradley-King played at Arkansas State, where amassed 14.5 sacks, 24 tackles for a loss, and five forced fumbles.
Pro Football Focus gave him a 71.6 overall grade in 2020, which was a step back compared to his time prior to Baylor. In those previous three seasons, Bradley-King graded at 86.6, 88.3, and 79.2, respectively. The step-up in the conference might’ve affected his production, which is plausible when you consider he was playing in the Sun Belt. Nevertheless, his length and wingspan allow him to be effective in the run game as well. PFF also noted this with a 71.2 pass rush grade last year strengthening this claim.
William Bradley-King is having a quietly strong week at the Senior Bowl. Beats Alaric Jackson easily here with the swipe-dip. Love his hands. Transferred from Arkansas State to Baylor this season. pic.twitter.com/7hzbU9jSc1
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) January 29, 2021
A lack of explosiveness is certainly concerning, but on film, you can see Bradley-King’s technique on display. He does have excellent hands though, and he can finesse offensive tackles with that noteworthy wingspan. The Raiders have probably seen enough from Arden Key, so they could draft Bradley-King and have him develop behind Crosby as strictly an edge rusher. If he were to put on some mass and further develop under Rod Marinelli, the Raiders could have something.
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*Top Photo: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports