Justin Ellis, Maurice Hurst, Mario Edwards Jr., P.J. Hall, *Eddie Vanderdoes
This offseason, the Oakland Raiders made a concerted effort to get better on the interior of their defensive line. Not only did they re-sign Justin Ellis to a three-year extension, but they spent two of their nine draft picks on the defensive tackle position, making this a very competitive unit heading into this season.
With Ellis likely to start at one of the two starting defensive tackle spots in Paul Guenther’s 4-3 scheme, that leaves only one starting spot available. Based on how he has looked since donning the Silver and Black, Maurice Hurst should be able to start as a rookie in 2018, and since his health checked out, he is going to be given the green light to win a job this summer.
Fellow 2018 NFL Draft pick P.J. Hall will also make the roster, as will Mario Edwards Jr. Edwards will need to have a good summer if he is going to solidify his spot on the roster, because Treyvon Hester looked good in spurts last season, and if Eddie Vanderdoes is healthy enough to go for Week 1, either Edwards or Hester will be the odd man out.
If Vanderdoes is ready for training camp, as was recently stated by his agent, he is likely to earn a spot on the 53-man for Week 1. A third-round pick in 2017, Vanderdoes tore his ACL in Week 17 of the 2017 season, the second time he has torn up that same knee, and the fact that he could be ready to go by late-July is pretty incredible.