With the 2019 season about a month away, speculation runs wild about the Oakland Raiders. As a result, media and fans alike, heap random predictions. From the Sporting News predicting a 5-11 season to Louis Riddick’s high hopes, the team garnered a vast array of expectations. FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs sit to discuss wild, but possible expectations. For this article, we are focusing on the defense.
The first-unit defensive line will be run stoppers galore. Do not be surprised if the front four reads Josh Mauro, Justin Ellis, Johnathan Hankins and Clelin Ferrell.
The Raiders snag their first INT in Week 1. No prolonged waiting on this sucker. The pick comes early followed by more as veterans Vontaze Burfict and Lamarcus Joyner get the defense aligned quicker and adjusting seamlessly.
The defense not only gets takeaways, but scores points. Be it a pick-six or a scoop-and-score fumble return, the defense puts points on the scoreboard. And is damn good at it.
Clelin Ferrell steps in as the undisputed leader of the defense later in the season. Through his quotes to Paul Gutierrez, Ferrell wants to lead.
“I consider myself just a first-year player. … I just want to come out and compete and earn everything that we got. To do that in this defense you got to communicate, you got to be physical, you got to be a guy that wants to set the tone, set the standard and just be able to be held accountable and do your job. That’s really just all it is.”
Johnathan Abram creates more turnovers than any other defensive. Granted, Abram does not possess elite ball skills. However, he brings the ability to jar the ball loose. If he snags three interceptions, and forces three fumbles, no other DB will enjoy those numbers
Maxx Crosby and Maurice Hurst will combine for ten sacks. While that does not see, like a bold thought. However, if Crosby does not start, he will still need to produce when he’s on the first. That number rises if the Raiders slot him in at a starting spot. Meanwhile, the baseline for Hurst’s success sits at four. Under those circumstances, the Raiders will take that.