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Silver Minings: Malcolm Koonce named rookie to keep an eye on

The third round pick from Buffalo is a name to keep an eye on

Buffalo v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

There are a lot of notable rookies who fans will be eager to see this season. Bleacher Report went and ranked a rookie to keep an eye on during OTA’s, and the player they picked for the Raiders might surprise you.

They selected Malcolm Koonce, who was selected in the third round. Here’s what they had to say about Koonce and why you should be excited to see how he performs.

The Las Vegas Raiders’ inability to consistently generate pressure isn’t a secret. The team has been searching for the right combination to harass opposing quarterbacks since it traded Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears.

General manager Mike Mayock already made significant investments in Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue, whom the team signed in free agency. The Raiders drafted Buffalo’s Malcolm Koonce, too.

“His value will be on third down,” Mayock told reporters. “He’s a natural pass-rusher.”

Koonce may never develop into an every-down defender, but his capability of creating pressure can’t be stressed enough. He played in only six games last season yet managed five sacks and six tackles for loss. In 2019, the two-time first-team All-MAC performer posted one of the nation’s highest pass-rush win rates.

“He’s got a toolbox that you’d be surprised to see from a kid from Buffalo,” Mayock said. “He’s got outside slip, he’s got a spin move. He’s got a fake spin move. ... You don’t see many college guys with a fake spin move.”

During his time at Buffalo, he racked up over 100 tackles with 22.5 coming for loss. In addition, he added 17 sacks to go along with four forced fumbles and 3 pass breakups. We’ve seen the Raiders have success with drafting a defensive monster from Buffalo. Hey, maybe they’ll strike gold twice.

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