How the Las Vegas Raiders’ defense has changed this offseason – the NFL Nation

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HENDERSON, Nev. – We have already reviewed the Las Vegas Raiders’ offensive groups, which should be the primary focus of the new coach Josh McDaniels, given his acumen on that side of the ball. However, defense may be more exciting in 2022.

A year after the Raiders had the No. 14 overall team defense under then-defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, McDaniels and new general manager Dave Ziegler renewed the unit with the arrival of the new DC in Patrick Graham of the New York Giants, who had, uh , 21st ranked total defense.

The Raiders have largely run a 4-3 base defense since Warren Sapp wore silver and black, but Graham is closer to a 3-4. Yet, as he and McDaniels say, nickel defense has become more the norm as a base defense. Of course, the goal for each team is to improve at all levels, so these rankings, as well as those that came with the attack a few weeks ago, come with a big warning with a new coaching staff and so many new faces.

line of defense

Additions: Chandler Jones (Arizona Cardinals), Zach VanValkenburg (rookie agent), Tyler Lancaster (Green Bay Packers), Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (rookie agent), Matthew Butler (fifth round draft pick), Bilal Nichols (Chicago Bears), Kyle Peko ( Tennessee Titans), Neil Farrell Jr. (fourth-round draft pick), Vernon Butler (Buffalo Bills), Tashawn Bower (Minnesota Vikings), Andrew Billings (Kansas City Chiefs),

Loss: Yannick Ngakoue (Indianapolis Colts), Solomon Thomas (New York Jets), Quinton Jefferson (Seattle Seahawks), Gerald McCoy (free agent), Carl Nassib (free agent), Darius Philon (free agent), Damion Square (free agent)

Recurring: Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Hankins, Malcolm Koonce, Gerri Green, Kendal Vickers

Better, worse or the same? Better

For the second time in as many years, the Raiders have renewed their defensive line around rising star Crosby, who was paid for a four-year extension of $ 94 million in March and then got a new roommate – also for the second time in a row – in the potential Hall of Fame edge rusher Jones. The Raiders essentially swapped Ngakoue, who is 27, with Jones, who is 32. Ferrell, a former No. 4 overall draft pick, did not get his option for the fifth year, so keep an eye on him during camp as either a swap or get extended looks on the interior of Graham’s 3-4 chart.

The Raiders’ 35 sacks a year ago were the 20th most in the league, with all but 1.5 of them from the ranks. But the interior has also been rebuilt, with Nichols signing the big ticket and Las Vegas having drawn Matthew Butler and Farrell. Graham’s plan and Jones’ resume should make it an upgrade.


Additions: Micah Kiser (Denver Broncos), Jayon Brown (Titans), Kenny Young (Broncos), Kyler Fackrell (Los Angeles Chargers), Darien Butler (rookie-free agent), Luke Masterson (rookie-free agent)

Loss: Nick Kwiatkoski (Atlanta Falcons), Cory Littleton (Carolina Panthers), KJ Wright (free agent), Nicholas Morrow (Bears), Marquel Lee (Bills), Kyle Wilber (free agent)

Recurring: Divine Deablo, Denzel Perryman

Better, worse or the same? Better

It must be better, right? Do not answer that … yet. Look, Las Vegas returns only two linebackers, and one of them – Perryman – was a Pro Bowler. So the key is to bring in waves of guys to convey Graham’s vision, guys who are already more than familiar with the scheme (Fackrell), as well as the division (Kiser, Young and Fackrell again).

A year ago, Deablo was the only real “addition”. Now he is one of the two returning. Rebuild, a lot? The device’s respective game stories suggest more of a 3-4 look. What is new?

Corner backs

Additions: Rock Ya-Sin (Colts), Anthony Averett (Baltimore Ravens), Darius Phillips (Cincinnati Bengals), Bryce Cosby (drafted rookie), Chris Jones (Titans), Cre’Von LeBlanc (Houston Texans), Sam Webb (drafted rookie)

Loss: Casey Hayward Jr. (Falcons), Keisean Nixon (Packers), Desmond Trufant (free agent), Brandon Facyson (Colts)

Recurring: Trayvon Mullen Jr., Nate Hobbs, Amik Robertson

Better, worse or the same? Worse

Too hard? Stay with me here, because the Raiders essentially let their best cornerback go to Hayward (24 career INTS) and replaced him with a combination of Ya-Sin and Averett (five combined career choices). Advantage, Hayward … for now. Plus, Mullen had a hard time staying on the pitch last season as he appeared in just five games after playing in all 32 of the previous two seasons. This is also a proof-season for him as he recovers from an unpublished offseason surgical procedure.

All of the Raiders’ league-low six interceptions last season came from the secondary, with six different players getting a piece, including Hayward, Mullen and Hobbs, who was a revelation on the pitch.


Additions: Duron Harmon (Falcons), Isaiah Pola-Mao (undrafted rookie), Qwynnterrio Cole (undrafted rookie)

Loss: None

Recurring: Tre’von Moehrig, Johnathan Abram, Dallin Leavitt, Tyree Gillespie, Roderic Teamer

Better, worse or the same? Same

Abram, like other 2019 first-rounders Ferrell and running back Josh Jacobs, did not get his fifth-year pick picked up. This was not unexpected, although an improvement in his pass coverage skills would be a bonus. Abram had one of the Raiders interceptions last year, but for the second time in three years, failed to finish a season due to an injury. Moehrig also had a choice, and the duo gave a split security look in OTAs and minicamp. Interesting.

Harmon should push for snaps, just like Gillespie and Teamer will. It’s basically the same device, right? It is a young group that, like the cornerbacks, would benefit greatly from an improved passing rush. At least that’s the plan.

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