The Las Vegas Raiders added talent on all three levels of the defense this offseason, but burning questions still remain entering 2020.
Over the last several seasons it hasn’t mattered if it was Jason Tarver, Ken Norton Jr., John Pagano, or Paul Guenther who was calling the shots for the Raiders, the defense has struggled. Some would say the blame goes to the aforementioned coordinators, some would say it’s a lack of talent, and some agree the problem lies somewhere in between.
Since the 2014 season, the Raiders have ranked 32nd, 22nd, 20th, 20th, 32nd, and 24th in points allowed per game. Over that time, they have allowed 26 points per contest, not exactly a winning recipe, and the team’s overall record has reflected that.
Because of the struggles, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have invested heavily in the defense during the last two offseasons, both through free agency and the draft. Money was thrown at free agents, bringing in guys like Lamarcus Joyner in 2019, and this past free agency period, Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, Maliek Collins, Damarious Randall, and Carl Nassib, just to name a few.
Premium picks in the early rounds of the draft were spent on Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, Trayvon Mullen, and Damon Arnette. Despite the upgrade in talent on the defensive side of the ball there are still questions that remain.
Let’s dive into four questions for the Raiders defense heading into 2020.