Oakland Raiders, Def, Raiders
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2015 Outlook: Do Not DraftLast updated on Jun-17-2015 by Shawn Childs
The Raiders played better against the run than expected when you consider that they were trailing often. Although their opponents attempted the fourth-most rushes, Oakland allowed the 11th-most rushing yards per game and a mundane 4.0 YPC. However, they did permit 17 rushing TDs.
Defensive tackle Dan Williams will be a rotational run defender with no value on passing downs. C.J. Wilson will compete with Stacy McGee for the other defensive tackle position. Both players are below average. Defensive end Justin Tuck recorded five sacks, 11 QB hits and 19 QB hurries. However, his value as a pass rusher, while still good, was a step down from when he registered 11 sacks, 12 QB hits and 44 hurries in 2013. Mario Edwards is expected to start as a rookie. I believe he will play on the inside and have value against the run.
LB Khalil Mack had a great rookie season in which he was stout against the run and had four sacks. Linebacker Sio Moore struggled through a hip injury last year and underwent surgery in December. He is expected to be ready for training camp. He proved to be a very strong run stopper as a rookie in 2013. Lofton has some talent, but he is coming off a bad year. He had no value defending the run and didn't record a sack. I can't see him being an asset to this defense.
After being selected 12th overall in 2013, cornerback D.J. Hayden has struggled with multiple injuries through two seasons. Last year, he missed seven games after having surgery on his foot to repair a stress fracture. His injury led to an unproductive 2014 season as opposing receivers caught 39 of 57 passes against him for 475 yards and six TDs. Hayden wasn't much better in his rookie year as a part-time player when he battled a groin issue. Travis Carrie is expected to start at the other cornerback position. He held his own as a part-time player in 2014. Carrie allows a high completion rate (69.1), but he allowed just one touchdown last year. Safety Charles Woodson will start the year as age 38. He played well early last season, but he wore down as the season went on, and opposing offenses picked on him. Woodson plays hard, but his slow legs have led to below-league-average play. Allen has shown growth over the past couple of years, but he isn't anything more than a league-average player.
Oakland Raiders S Charles Woodson
The Raiders ranked 17th in pass defense last season, allowing 238.1 yards per game. Their 22 sacks were the second-fewest in the league. They allowed 29 passing TDs and grabbed only nine INTs. Opposing receivers gained 7.4 yards per pass attempt.
This defense has only one elite player and questionable talent on the front line and in the secondary. Their only hopes for more sacks are Tuck and Mack. They really need Hayden to play like a first-rounder. Del Rio may help this defense's style of play, but I don't believe this unit will have any upside in 2015.
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