Oakland Raiders: 5 players that can improve this defense

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Quarterback Carson Palmer
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Quarterback Carson Palmer /
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GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Offensive guard Oni Omoile
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Offensive guard Oni Omoile /

4. player. 28. . Outside Linebacker. Southern Utah Thunderbirds. James Cowser

Outside linebacker James Cowser is an interesting wrinkle in all of this. He is in his second NFL season out of Southern Utah. The former undrafted player of the Thunderbirds is pressing for a huge opportunity in the Raiders defense. He just might be the No. 3 edge rusher behind Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.

Cowser has had an impressive summer for the Raiders. He’s turning heads in practice and is making smart reads on the gridiron in preseason games. Sure, Cowser is not the most athletic player on the Silver and Black by any means. However, he is pure hustle and he is taking snaps away from guys that apparently weren’t overly attached to them.

Keep in mind that a huge part of this league is composed of guys that are undrafted. These players tend to play with massive chips on their shoulder, largely for being overlooked for so long. Cowser looks to be one of those guys that the Raiders will be lucky to have competing for them every day in practice and every Sunday on the field of play.

In a way, he’ll actually push Irvin and Mack to get better as well strictly through competition. No, he will not usurp either at any point of his NFL career on the depth chart, but having more depth in the pass rushing, edge player rotation will keep the Raiders’ two best defensive players fresher and able to do more when they are on the field.