Oakland Raiders Free Agent Acquisitions By the Numbers

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Nov 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) eludes New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) in the first quarter of their game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Lofton – Inside Linebacker:

Curtis Lofton was on the Saints in 2014. I don’t think much more needs to be said about the Saints defense last season. For those of you who don’t know, the Saints had the second worst defense in the NFL. For one reason or another, that team didn’t produce on the defensive side of the ball. Curtis Lofton’s numbers suffered because of this. He, like Smith, had a dramatic drop in position ranking from 2013 to 2014. But, luckily for him, he’s coming in to replace the worst linebacker in the NFL, Miles Burris. Here’s how the two match up.

Curtis Lofton:

  • Overall Ranking: 57
  • Position Grade: -21.5
  • Pass Rush: -5.6 (59th overall)
  • Pass Coverage: -4.3 (45th overall)
  • Run Stopping: -12.2 (58th overall)
  • Run Stop %: 10.6 (10th overall)

Miles Burris:

  • Overall Ranking: 60th
  • Position Grade: -42.2
  • Pass Rush: -3.7 (57th overall)
  • Pass Coverage: -19.6 (60th overall)
  • Run Stopping: -23.2 (60th overall)
  • Run Stop %: 6.4 (29t overall)

From a numbers standpoint, Lofton doesn’t look like anything special, but he’s still a dramatic upgrade from Burris. Like I said before, Lofton was a bit of a victim of his surroundings last season. The Saints’ defense just couldn’t get it together.  In 2013, Lofton graded out much higher in every single category. It should also be noted that Lofton lead all Inside Linebackers in tackles, and was 4th in the entire NFL last season.

That tells me the entire front 7 of the Saints’ defense relied on him far too much. Lofton is a smart player, a leader and a true captain, and I think he was just in a position last season where he had to shoulder the entire burden of his team on his own. With the help of the Mack, Moore, and Smith, I’m sure Lofton will flourish in Oakland.

Next: FA By the Numbers: Lee Smith