Josh Mauro, Maxx Crosby, P.J. Hall, Benson Mayowa, and Corey Liuget
Getting after the quarterback will be the primary focus of this unit. Defensive ends Arden Key and Maxx Crosby will be called upon to help alleviate the team’s biggest deficiency from a year ago. The young edge rushers combined had 40 sacks (20 a piece) in college, so the potential is there, but now it’s time for execution.
Before the start of training camp, Mike Mayock said he needed to see more out of P.J. Hall this season. So far so good for the second-year defensive tackle as he was a force against the run and as a pass rusher in the preseason. Expect Hall to play a significant role the revamping Oakland’s pass rush.
Another key piece of the 2019 pass rush puzzle will be veteran Corey Liuget. The former Charger was recently signed by the Raiders, so it might be a couple weeks until he really makes an impact. Injuries have plagued Luiget in recent years, but from 2012 to 2015 the defensive tackle had 20 sacks, so when healthy he can put pressure on the quarterback.
Benson Mayowa seems to have developed well since his first go around in Oakland. As a Raider in 2014 and 2015 he gathered seven tackles for loss and two sacks, and in the last three season he posted 11 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. Clearly Mayowa isn’t the same player as he was during his first stint with the team, and they will need him to continue the show the same growth.
Oakland will be Josh Mauro’s third team in as many years. In five years with the Cardinals and Giants, Mauro compiled three sacks and 15 tackles for loss. The well-traveled veteran is known more for his run defense than his pass rush abilities, and the Raiders will be reliant on him to stop the run
While he might not be the sexiest acquisition, Mauro might end up being one of the more valuable members of the free agent class.