The defensive line will be better than advertised
One of the biggest knocks on the Raiders last season was the fact that they had serious issues on the interior of their defensive line. Because of that, Khalil Mack took on a ton of pressure on the edges, and bolstering the unit was definitely a priority heading into 2018.
During the 2018 NFL Draft, the Raiders made the decision to draft two defensive tackles in the first five rounds. They went out and grabbed P.J. Hall in the second, and then got the steal of the draft, selecting Michigan’s Maurice Hurst in the fifth.
Hurst has looked incredible during the offseason so far, and many expect him to start alongside Justin Ellis in Paul Guenther’s 4-3 system. Hall and 2017 third round pick Eddie Vanderdoes should provide great depth, and Bruce Irvin moving to defensive end full time gives the Raiders incredible bookends along this defensive line.
If the defensive line is improved in 2018, which is certainly should be, the Raiders will have strong units up front on both sides of the ball. That kind of strength usually spells a lot of wins, which should make the Raiders much better than expected this season.