Why Defensive Line is No. 1 Need for Raiders in Draft

The Las Vegas Raiders defense has a clear first need when it comes to addressing their biggest weaknesses

The Las Vegas Raiders have needs all over their defense that they must fill, and that much is obvious to anyone that watched the Silver and Black this season.

They could use better ballhawks in the secondary, but they also have to build up what little of a competent defensive line that they have.

They were one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the league this season, finishing with only 21 sacks.

It’s a unit light on genuine threats, save for sophomore defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell.

Crosby has led the Raiders the last two seasons with a total of 17 sacks and is the only Raider to have a 10-sack season in the last three years.

Ferrell has only 6.5 sacks to his name in two seasons, but graded out as the 16th best edge defender in football by Pro Football Focus (PFF).

They are players who could be the building blocks of a good defensive line, but the Raiders haven’t built that around them.

Picks such as Arden Key and Maurice Hurst haven’t broken out as the Raiders had hoped, and the signings of Maliek Collins, Carl Nassib and Johnathan Hankins haven't worked out.

The Raiders need a fresh infusion of talent on their defensive line as a whole.

While Hurst was rated well this past season, he hasn’t put up the kind of numbers to make you think he’s going to be a wrecking ball inside.

That’s what the Raiders badly need to find, and they’ll be in a good position to find one with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

They also should be able to select one of the draft's best prospects at defensive end, who could finally be the added juice for Crosby and Ferrell.

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