The lack of pass rush was one of the biggest stories for the Raiders last season. Losing Khalil Mack was a blow that will affect this team for multiple seasons. Mike Mayock has gone on record saying this group of defensive lineman is the best he’s seen in many years so there could be hope on the horizon.
After selecting two defensive tackles in the 2018 NFL draft its likely the front office will opt to address other areas of this defense. A pass rusher who can compliment the existing young players on this roster is imminent. With 3 first round picks the Raiders will have a few opportunities to select a future Raiders star from this group of defensive lineman working out today. Here are a few to keep an eye on.
Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
Height: 6’6 1/2
Weight: 295 lbs
Tillery is a massive defensive lineman who played mostly on the defensive interior while at Notre Dame. Tillery however has the length and athleticism to play multiple positions and would be a scheme fit for any NFL defense. His tape shows an explosive pass rusher who easily gets into the offensive backfield but needs to work on his pad level and run defense.
The South Bend product is slated to go in the early second round in most mock drafts prior to the combine. If Tillery blows up the athletic testing he will work his way into the first round. At 24 or 27 overall, the Raiders could do much worse.
Charles Omenihu, Texas
Height: 6’5 3/8
Weight: 280 lbs
There is a serious divide in the draft community on where Omenihu plays in the NFL. At Texas he played mostly on the defensive interior but many draftniks believe he has the athleticism and length to play on the edge. The Texas stand out played at edge rusher exclusively during the week of the Senior Bowl so theres a good chance thats where he ends up as a pro.
Omenihu already won the weigh-in portion of the combine, boasting over a 7 foot wingspan. An intriguing option for the the Raiders and a potential fit for Paul Guenter’s scheme who prefers his defensive ends to have the type of length that Omenihu has in spades.
Brian Burns, Florida State
Height: 6’4 3/4
Weight: 249 lbs
A true edge rusher, there is no debate where Burns will play in the NFL. The only question will be how soon he can be a full time starter and hold up against the run. He answered a big question by coming to the combine weighing in at 249lbs, up some 20 pounds from his playing weight in college.
As a pass rusher Burns is one of the most complete players in this class. He has incredible athletic gifts to go along with quite a few pass rushing moves. Burns has a chance to smash the athletic tests today, he will be among the fastest defensive lineman, no question.