Starters: Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin
Backups: Tank Carradine, Arden Key, Frostee Rucker, Fadol Brown, Shilique Calhoun
Mack is gonna be Mack. The All Pro pass rusher and arguably the best defensive player in the league. You get no stronger than his leadership on this defense.
After matching a career high with 8.0 sacks in 2017, Irvin is optimistic he can do even better with the Raiders plans to put him at defensive end exclusively. Despite his long crediting Ken Norton Jr for saving his career by moving him to linebacker.
Mack and Irvin have been pretty much all the pass rush the Raiders have had the past couple seasons. Aldon Smith could never stay clean long enough to be allowed from banishment and domestic violence charges this offseason officially ended any chance he would play another down for the Raiders.
So, the Raiders added another the guy who was drafted in the second round to hopefully replace Smith’s production in San Francisco. But in four seasons with the 49ers, Tank Carradine put up just 5.5 sacks, and started just 8 games. He hopes to find his footing across the bay.
The other key addition is literally a Key addition. The team’s third round pick was seen as a borderline first round talent who fell in the draft due to character concerns.
The team’s 2016 third round selection Calhoun was supposed to offer some pass rush and has provided precisely nothing. The college defensive end gets blown off the line in the pros and can’t cover as a linebacker. He is now moving back to defensive end where he will need to have bulked up if he hopes to compete. This is likely his last chance.
Rucker was listed among the defensive tackles too because in his short time with the team he has lined up at both positions.
2017 undrafted free agent Fadol Brown spent last season on the practice squad and has drawn some mild praise this offseason.
Bruce Irvin’s return helps. As does the addition of Arden Key, potentially. Who knows what Carradine can provide, but the team seems to like him. Mack is obviously elite, so he brings up the overall talent. Irvin ranges from solid to stellar across from him. And now they seem to have some depth and perhaps a bit of competition as well. They can get by with this group and potentially show some improvement.
What condition do you think the Raiders edge rusher position is in?
This poll is closed