Night two of the 2021 NFL seemed to be all about defense for the Las Vegas Raiders as they continued to add another key player to help them turn the defense around.
The Raiders used their first of two picks in the third-round on defensive end Malcolm Koonce from the University of Buffalo.
The standout pass-rusher earned first‐team All‐MAC honors back-to-back seasons and led all players in the Mid‐American Conference in sacks in 2019.
"The discussions that I had with the Raiders was basically my pass rush skills and stuff like that, and me getting off the edge and just being a dude that straps up his helmet and just goes forward and bullies anybody in his way," said Koonce after being selected.
Koonce is the prototypical edge-rusher, and he checks in, weighing 250 pounds and standing 6-foot-3. With his frame, he has enough quickness and athleticism to explode off the line of scrimmage.
In the 2020 season, he tallied nine sacks and caused three forced fumbles. During his four years with the Bulls, Koonce totaled 109 tackles, 22.5 tackles for losses, and 17 sacks.
The Raiders have been familiar with drafting players out of Buffalo as a few years ago, they drafted Khalil Mack. Many people didn't hear about him on Saturdays, but he quickly became a well-known player around the league on Sundays.
Now another burgeoning star out of Buffalo will have an opportunity to show Raider Nation what he is all about.
"I'm excited to get to Vegas and get to work," added Koonce.
The Raiders' lack of pass rush allowed teams to break them apart last season. Now the Raiders bring in a player known to cause havoc in the backfield and make things difficult for opposing quarterbacks.
Koonce loves pass rush, and I believe this is a player who will benefit under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's defense for years to come.
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