4. Defensive pieces
Let’s not kid ourselves, neither the offense nor the defense were stellar this season. However, there are some pieces on defense that could become cornerstones of the rebuild. As Gruden continues to shape his roster through free agency and the draft, he needs some current players to lean on and build around.
Obviously Khalil Mack could have been one of those pieces, but let’s not go there. Instead, let’s look at some players on the roster as of Week 17 that could and should remain on the roster moving forward.
Gareon Conley has truly emerged over the second half of the season and has shown that he has what it takes to be a starting corner in the coming years. He tallied his third interception of the season with a nice play on Sunday, and there will be many more to come if Paul Guenther continues to roll with the young corner. Also, Daryl Worley and Nick Nelson could be nice depth pieces moving forward, but there is still a need for another starting caliber corner.
There are pieces to work with for Gruden and Guenther, but they need to add some key play-makers at every level, especially at defensive end and linebacker.