Despite numerous free agent signings, the Raiders still need to upgrade their defensive line. Here are a few names to watch for.
Hall reportedly had one of the greatest workouts a defensive tackle could hope. By jumping a 38-inch vertical, running in the 4.6-4.7 40 range, & bench-pressing 36 reps at Sam Houston State’s pro day, Hall opened eyes. With 42 career sacks and two-time FCS All-American selections to his credit, Hall is the perfect three-technique fit for the Raiders scheme since Justin Ellis re-signed for three years as the team’s starting nose tackle. He will need to improve his run fits and test his technique against upper level competition and would benefit going up against the likes of Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Kelechi Osemele every day. Pressure creates diamonds. Hall is the epitome of that as early as the third round of this draft.
Strong, athletic, and stout nose tackle who could potentially beat out Vanderdoes for reps. The Raiders really do not need him, but he will be around between the fourth to sixth round. In that case, Senat gives the Raiders value and depth.
Sweat ran a 4.53 and a 39.5-inch vertical. He has some potential as a hybrid rusher like the Bengals used Carl Lawson. Sweat could be incredibly productive in a sub package role as well as learning under Mack and Irvin. Irvin & Sweat are essentially athletic clones and who better to teach Sweat how to be the best pass rusher possible than Irvin? This pick only falls in line if Sweat falls to the third or fourth round. The last time a defensive end out of Florida State who was the top player in the country coming out of high school was drafted by Oakland, the second round pick was Mario Edwards Jr. Lightning could strike twice.
One of the tenacious defensive linemen out of Ohio State who helped harass potential first pick Sam Darnold all game. Lewis ran a 4.69 at the Buckeyes pro day, solidifying his mid round status. Even with free agent signing Tank Carradine, the loss of Denico Autry and lack of development from Shilique Calhoun and James Cowser leaves the Raiders with no real depth at either defensive end spot. Lewis is worth a gamble in the fourth or fifth.
Utah has been known for dependable defensive lineman through the years. As a result, Fitts fits the mold. His 4.69 40, 31 bench reps and a proven track record of playing in multiple scheme fronts makes him a perfect fit. He might even be the best mid to late round fit. However, Kitts’ injury history might be what makes him drop to the fourth. At worst, he slides to the sixth round. He has almost identical work out numbers to Lawson and was teammates with Eddie Vanderdoes at UCLA before he transferred to Utah and current Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark. Keeping him on the west coast would be wise.