The Las Vegas Raiders need to upgrade their defensive line this offseason. The unit’s performance has been lackluster over the last three years. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options to choose from to inject some much-needed talent into the defensive line.
The Raiders could use an upgrade at defensive end
This offseason going to be quite unique. NFL teams often will try to fill in a couple of holes here and there with free agents but mostly focus on draft night. However, with the pandemic still around, scouting college talent will be quite different and possibly difficult for most teams.
That reason alone makes free agency all that more important. The Raiders need more talent along the defensive front more than ever and these are five they should consider targeting.
Any team that adds J.J. Watt would become instantly better not just on the field but also in the locker room. While the Raiders could certainly use his veteran presence in a relatively younger locker room, the cost might be too high to pay for the often injured 10-year veteran. Watt is most likely going to have several suitors and most of them would be better fits than the Raiders. It would also be unwise to get into a bidding war for Watt’s services when they can spend that money on other position groups.
The Raiders have been linked to Ndamukong Suh dating back to his draft year in 2010. They’ve also been listed as a landing spot for Suh in every offseason in which he’s available and this year probably won’t be much different. However, the Raiders should steer clear of Suh if not for any other reason than his age.
Suh will be 35 entering next season and despite a slight uptick in production last season, the Raiders need more of a long-term answer on the defensive front. Furthermore, if the Raiders are going to bring in a veteran, they’ll want him to be a mentor and from the outside looking in, it appears as if Suh has never wanted to be that type of guy within a locker room.
Unlike Suh and Watt, Jadaveon Clowney will only be 28 in 2021. However, the sudden and drastic change in production away from Houston is a major red flag. In the two seasons, he’s been away from Watt and Houston, he’s only registered three sacks, all of which came in Seattle during the 2019 campaign. Clowney may not be the bonafide pass rusher the Raiders need and are looking for.