The defense of the Las Vegas Raiders has been missing for the past 20 seasons. There have been highlights of mediocrity, but it has mostly been a disaster on that side of the ball.
Last season there was more inconsistent play on the field, with the Raiders finishing 24th in scoring and 30th in EPA. The pass rush couldn't get pressure on the quarterback outside of Maxx Crosby, which exposed leaks in the secondary. `
Pro Football Network has ranked both offenses and defenses this week. While the Raiders' offense came in at 14th, the defense was spotted at 31st in the NFL.
The Raiders didn’t lose astounding players in free agency, but they didn’t replace those losses with big upgrades either, except perhaps with Marcus Epps at safety. The biggest improvement comes from draft pick Tyree Wilson at EDGE overtaking Clelin Ferrell. But with a weak secondary and linebacker unit, it’s hard to call that enough to see substantial change.
Dave Ziegler and the front office added pieces but were not big-name players. Players like Robert Spillane and David Long are not considered upgrades over previous players. If the Raiders want to improve defense, unsung heroes will have to become impact players.
It is the offseason, and nothing matters until they step on the field.
In other Raiders links:
- I am Athlete interview with Davante Adams: Adams interviews with Brandon Marshall about his move to Vegas and more.
- Tape Don't Lie third-round review: Tape Don't Lie reviews the third-round draft picks Bryon Young and Tre Tucker.
- Raiders sign new offensive linemen for the interior: Raiders sign offensive lineman Greg Van Roten.