The Raiders have made multiple efforts to beef up their defensive line ahead of the season, bringing in players like Maliek Collins to add to Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell.
They’ve now moved to strengthen the line again by signing free agent defensive end Chris Smith.
Smith previously was a fifth-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. Since then, he has played for the Jaguars, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns.
The former Arkansas Razorback got the most significant playing time of his career in the last three seasons. He appeared 41 games and made two starts after only playing in 19 games his first three seasons.
In those 60 games, Smith has recorded 67 tackles and 8.5 sacks. His season-high is three, which he’s done twice.
The numbers may not jump off the page, but if there’s anything that Smith can bring its experienced depth and added competition.
Remember that he was a fifth-round pick, and to have been in the league for this long, he’s likely had to work harder than most to keep a spot. That kind of demeanor is precisely what coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock want from their players.
The ability to overcome a perceived lack of talent with hard work will always catch a coach’s eye. It’s been enough that Smith has been able to stay in the league despite never putting up big numbers. Now he’ll have his chance with the Raiders to continue to prove that.
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