Last season, for the first time in quite some time, Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour were not manning the middle of the Raiders defensive line. The interior line was entirely overhauled last off-season. So, how did it go? Let's look at the current defensive tackles as they stand right now:
Pat Sims - 16 starts, 53 tackles (40 solo), 2.0 sacks
Vance Walker - 15 starts, 40 tackles (26 solo), 3.0 sacks
Stacy McGee - 5 starts, 20 tackles (6 solo), 0.5 sacks
Daniel Muir - 1 start, 17 tackles (12 solo), 1.0 sacks
Pat Sims was the leader of this group. He was among the league leaders among defensive tackles in solo and combined tackles. The one concern when he came to the Raiders, and something he wanted to disprove, was his inability to be a fulltime starter. He had never been a fulltime starter or finished an entire season in his first five seasons with the Bengals. He put that squarely to rest by starting every single game for the Raiders and had easily his best season as a pro.
The other starter the Raiders signed last off-season was Vance Walker. He too had something to prove. He had been a backup in Atlanta over his first four seasons, getting his first real playing time the latter half of the 2012 season as an injury replacement. He didn't quite prove he was starter quality although he had a few good games midseason in which he had all three of his sacks in a four-game stretch.
Stacy McGee was the team's sixth round rookie. He played well enough to earn his snaps but it's still hard to say how much potential he has.
Daniel Muir was signed midseason to replace second-year player, Christo Bilukidi who the Raiders cut. Muir is an energy guy who can be a great burst off the bench.
Team need: High
Both starters - Pat Sims and Vance Walker - were on one-year deals and therefore are free agents. Sims should be a priority to re-sign as he proved he can be a building block and lock down the middle of the line. If the team doesn't agree, they must find a suitable replacement. Walker is not a priority and the team must consider finding an upgrade at his position. Muir is also a free agent and his return is uncertain. McGee has not shown he can step up as a starter.
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