While the Las Vegas Raiders won’t be playing this weekend and are in full offseason mode, Sunday’s Conference Championship games provide an opportunity to get a good look at a few impending free agents the Raiders might target in March. Below is a glimpse of one player from each team to keep tabs on.
For the purpose of this exercise, no assumptions were made about who will and won’t be franchise-tagged. In case a player listed does get tagged, other impending free agents are listed as ‘honorable mentions’ for a few more names to keep tabs on.
Kansas City Chiefs
CB L’Jarius Sneed
2023 Stats: 78 total tackles (60 solo), 2 INTs, 14 PD
The Raiders need a No. 1 corner as that’s one of the biggest holes on the roster right now. Sneed will be one of the best free agents available at the position. He’s a physical press corner who is impressive in man coverage and has good ball skills. According to Pro Football Focus, the Louisiana Tech product has surrendered 47 completions on 93 targets (50.5 completion percentage) and didn’t allow a touchdown until last week.
Honorable mentions: DT Chris Jones, LB Willie Gay Jr., RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
DT Justin Madubuike
2023 Stats: 56 total tackles (38 solo), 12 TFL, 13 sacks
The Ravens have a couple of notable defensive free agents that the Raiders could kick the tires on, but Madubuike should top the Silver and Black’s list as the team needs both talent and depth at defensive tackle. Also, the 2020 third-round pick would be a great compliment to Maxx Crosby as an interior pass rusher. Madubuike not only set a career-high for sacks this season, but he also ranked sixth at his position with 64 pressures during the regular season, per PFF.
Honorable mentions: LB Patrick Queen, G Kevin Zeitler
G Jonah Jackson
Age: 26 (turns 27 next month)
2023 Stats (via PFF): 27 pressures allowed (2 sacks), 61.0 overall grade, 60.3 run-blocking grade, 60.7 pass-blocking grade
While Dylan Parham currently holds down the left guard spot in Las Vegas and isn’t going anywhere, Parham could make the move to center since Andre James is a free agent. Also, Greg Van Roten is on just a one-year deal and Jackson has the athleticism to which sides of the line if need be.
Below is a look at what PFF had to say about the Lion via the site’s free-agent rankings:
Jackson is a force in space in the run game who climbs to the second level well once he gets a head of steam and adjusts laterally to plant his heavy hands into the chests of defenders with balanced feet. Jackson has continued to struggle in pass protection, which is a bit surprising given his athletic ability. He can be slow out of his stance and/or flat-footed at times, which causes him to lose early on in reps.
Honorable mentions: G Halapoulivaati Vaitai (injured), S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, G Graham Glasgow
San Francisco 49ers
DT Javon Kinlaw
2023 Stats: 25 total tackles (13 solo), 4 TFL, 3.5 sacks
To be honest, San Francisco doesn’t have a ton of intriguing impending free agents and even fewer that fit Las Vegas’ needs. That being said, Kinlaw could be a solid target for the Raiders to help provide some pass-rush support and depth at defensive tackle. He had 31 pressures during the regular season which isn’t bad considering he only got 322 opportunities playing behind Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave.
Honorable mentions: LB Oren Burks, TE Charlie Woerner, iOL Jon Feliciano