Raiders Draft Position Preview: Defensive End

Like with their need at defensive tackle, the  Las Vegas Raiders could look to add an influx of edge rushers in the draft
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The Las Vegas Raiders' pass rush was among the worst in the league this season, and as we established looking at the defensive tackle position, it needs a significant facelift.

The Raiders' status at the defensive end isn’t quite as bad as it is at defensive tackle, and a big reason for that is Maxx Crosby.

Drafted in the fourth round in the 2019 NFL Draft, he’s led the Raiders in sacks the last two seasons with a combined total of 17.

However, Crosby hasn’t had much support at that time. The Raiders' fourth overall pick from that year’s draft, Clelin Ferrell, has the second-most sacks in the last two years with 6.5.

Speaking of Ferrell, much has been made about his lack of pass rush production since he joined the Raiders.

Obviously, after being drafted fourth overall, fans would like to see better production than the two sacks he had this past season.

Ferrell still has found ways to make an impact. He wouldn’t be ranked as the 16th best edge defender in the league by Pro Football Focus (PFF) otherwise.

Ranking as one of the best defenders against the run and above-average rushing the passer, all Ferrell needs to work on at this point is translating that play into more sacks.

Other than Ferrell and Crosby though, the Raiders don’t have much in terms of blue-chip talent on the edge.

Carl Nassib and Arden Key were the only other two edge players who were ranked for the Raiders, and they both were outside the top-50 edge players in the league as ranked by PFF.

Looking at how they could address the need in the 2021 NFL Draft, this is a year where there isn’t a consensus top rusher, like a Nick Bosa, for example.

But the Raiders should be in a position to take one of the best in the class with the 17th overall pick.

That means fans should pay plenty of attention to names like Gregory Rousseau of Miami, Kwity Paye of Michigan, and Carlos Basham Jr. of Wake Forest. 

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