Las Vegas Raiders should bring back Vontaze Burfict
The Las Vegas Raiders have a need at linebacker once again, and should consider bringing back veteran Vontaze Burfict in 2020.
With a lot of changes coming to the defensive side of the ball this offseason, it is my opinion that the Las Vegas Raiders should bring back linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Burfict is not only a physical middle linebacker, but a leader on the defense, and has been the quarterback for Paul Guenther before.
The reason why most analysts think the Raiders should let Burfict walk is because of his knack for getting suspended. Which, obviously, hurts the team, but if Mike Mayock could bring him back on a team-friendly contract I think he could prove to be valuable.
That contract could be less guarantees and mostly incentives.
I know all Raiders fans would love to see Isaiah Simmons suit up for the Silver and Black , as he is an athletic unicorn, and the best linebacker in this draft class. However, he’s going to be long gone by the time the 12th pick rolls around, which is the first of two Raiders first round picks this April.
Not only are the Carolina Panthers looking for a replacement for Luke Kuechly at the 7th pick, but the Jacksonville Jaguars could be looking for a playmaker at the second level as well. Simmons isn’t worth trading up for with all of the needs the Raiders have at the wide receiver position and in the secondary.
Reaching for a linebacker like Kenneth Murray wouldn’t be worth it either, so the linebacker position should be targeted in the middle rounds if Simmons is gone at 12.
The main reason I think Burfict could be valuable is he could be a great veteran teacher on the field for a young linebacker that Mayock could find in the draft. Guenther has been known for his love of finding linebackers late in the draft. In this draft there is potential in the third round for a linebacker to emerge.
One draft prospect that the Raiders could target would be Malik Harrison out of Ohio State. He’s known for being a violent run defender very similar to Burfict., and if Harrison could sit behind Burfict, learn the system, and work on his coverage skills, I think he will be could end up being a beast for the Raiders.
Another potential draft prospect the Raiders could target would be Logan Wilson from Wyoming. A small-school prospect, Wilson graded out exceptionally the past year according to Pro Football Focus. He will fall into the middle rounds because he doesn’t have the elite athleticism some of the linebackers at the top of the draft have.
However, he does have great instincts at the middle backer position and is a great run defender.
Pairing Vontaze Burfict’s violence and experience with the youth of Harrison or Wilson would instantly help this linebacking corps improve. On top of that, the Raiders would be wise to add some additional talent in free agency.
One name to keep an eye on would be Cory Littleton. He’s a talented player that could make a huge impact on the Raiders. In my opinion, having Burfict, Littleton, and either Harrison or Wilson would be a great way to start the 2020 season.