Oakland Raiders, Def, Raiders
|Def - #16||OAK||Active||0' 0||0|
2016 Outlook: Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)Last updated on Jul-27-2016 by Shawn Childs
The Raiders finished 20th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (1678) with 12 TDs. Rushers gained 4.1 yards per rush, which was just below the league average (4.13).
Their pass defense ranked 26th passing yards allowed (4140) with 25 TDs and 14 Ints. The Raiders produced 38 sacks.
The best defensive end in 2015 was Khalil Mack. He graded highly against the run while delivering 14 sacks. DE Mario Edwards moved into the starting lineup in his rookie season after the Raiders drafted him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Edwards offered an edge against the runs with limited success in sacks (2). DT Justin Ellis looks to be a league average starter after two seasons in the NFL. DT Dan Williams was a very good run clogger in the middle of Oakland's defensive line with no upside in sacks.
LB Bruce Irvin adds to the Raiders' run defense while playing well in coverage. LB Ben Heeney could easily be replaced in some form in the starting lineup due to risk against the run. He did hold his own in pass coverage with 2.5 sacks in his rookie season. LB Malcolm Smith graded as a negative asset in 2015 even with the best success in his four-year career. Smith struggled as well as a run defender while posting 99 solo tackles and four sacks.
S Reggie Nelson will upgrade the secondary after Charles Woodson retired. Nelson plays well in coverage while maintaining his value against the run. Rookie Carl Joseph should move into the starting lineup as a strong safety. His game projects well in coverage with some growth needed in his success against the run. CB Sean Smith is one of the better CBs in the league, and he will handle his assignment with no help on many plays. Oakland claimed CB David Amerson off waiver last September, which was a great move as he played his best ball of his career. Amerson was an asset in both coverage and run support.
If the Raiders can improve their pass rush, this defense would make a nice step forward. Oakland has done everything possible to improve on the defensive side of the ball in free agency and the draft. I expect them to become Fantasy relevant in some fashion in 2016. I'd draft the Raiders as my second defense hoping for matchup value.
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