The Las Vegas Raiders come off a crucial win on Thursday, putting them back in contention for the AFC West.
While the Raiders held the Dallas Cowboys’ running game to 64 yards, the team still ranks 25th in the league in opponent rushing yards allowed per game (125.9).
An interior defensive lineman to counter an inside zone and potentially replace Johnathan Hankins at nose tackle could be a significant pickup for the Raiders in the 2022 NFL Draft.
DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M
DeMarvin Leal would be a strong candidate for the draft pick. The San Antonio, Texas, native is a three-year starter for Texas A&M.
As a freshman, Leal made seven starts for the Aggies before starting in all 10 games in his sophomore season. In that season, Leal totaled 37 tackles, 2.5 sack,s and an interception, the only one of his college career thus far.
The defensive lineman’s 2020 campaign would earn him recognition for the 2021 Walter Camp Preseason All-American Team. He also received Athlon Preseason All-American First Team honors.
This season, Leal has helped lead the Aggies to an 8-4 record, recording 58 tackles, and 8.5 sacks.
Leal more than likely be making an All-SEC Defensive Team in the coming days.
It’s not quite clear yet where Las Vegas will wind up in the draft, as the Raiders’ fate this season is in their own hands. Should Las Vegas finish between a .500 and .600 winning percentage range, Leal could be available when the Raiders are on the clock.
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