Raiders Draft Position Evaluation: Defensive Tackle

The Las Vegas Raiders have needs all along their defense, and finding consistent tackle play is one of them
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The Las Vegas Raiders finishing with a top 10 scoring offense wasn’t good enough for them to finish better than .500 this season.

Probably the biggest culprit for that had to do with the Raiders finishing with the 30th-ranked defense in the league.

A big reason for that was a lack of presence on the defensive line.

The Raiders finished fourth-worst in the league in sacks with 21 and had the 24th-ranked rushing defense in the league.

There isn’t just one area that needs to be fixed, but we’ll start by looking at the defensive tackle position.

Like most of the areas on defense, the Raiders could use an extensive makeover at tackle.

Maurice Hurst is the only tackle that was clearly above average in 2020, ranking 20th out of 125 eligible players on Pro Football Focus (PFF).

Other than Hurst, the quality goes down significantly.

The next highest-ranked was Johnathan Hankins, who was middle of the pack at 68th.

Maliek Collins, who the Raiders brought over on a one-year deal, was one of the worst defensive linemen in the league, being ranked at 121st.

Kendal Vickers wasn’t much better being ranked at 112th, but he at least has the luxury of being an undrafted rookie with the chance to improve.

Regardless if he can, the Raiders need to look at players in the 2021 NFL Draft who can provide immediate upgrades.

That could start as early as the 17th overall pick. 

Marvin Wilson, out of Florida State, and Christian Barmore, from Alabama, are considered two of the top prospects at the position, and both could be in play for the Raiders at No. 17.

It’s not the only position they could look at in the first round (we’ll get to the rest soon enough), but finding every down pocket pusher would be a nice start. 

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