The Raiders made it a point to get better in the secondary the last two NFL Drafts. They selected former West Virginia safety Karl Joseph at No. 14 in the 2016 NFL Draft. Oakland went to back into addressing their secondary with former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley at No. 24 and former UConn safety Obi Melifonwu at No. 56 in the 2017 NFL Draft.
While the Raiders will almost certainly be looking to upgrade their secondary in the 2018 NFL Draft, as it remains a major issue in their defense, the best play in the first round might be on the defensive interior. 2017 third-round pick Eddie Vanderdoes could be a gem, but there’s no reason to pass up on Washington Huskies defensive tackle Vita Vea if he is still available.
Washington won the Pac-12 for the first time since the early 2000s last year. While the passing game led by sophomore quarterback Jake Browning was fun to watch, what made the Huskies so dominant was the great play of their front-seven. Vea was only a sophomore in Seattle last year, but the 6-foot-5, 340-pound defensive tackle made a big impression on NFL scouts a year before he was even eligible to be drafted.
Vea had 39 total tackles, 6.5 for a loss of yardage and 5.0 quarterback sacks. In theory, Vea would be the ideal type of player to star alongside Vanderdoes up front for the Raiders. Vanderdoes is a smaller, bull-rushing type. Vea projects to be a space-eater that can eviscerate offensive interiors with his powerful frame.