Complete overhaul of the linebacker group
Littleton was not the only big free agent signed to the position group, as Nick Kwiatkoski was also added, and will wear the green dot for defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in 2020. Kwiatkoski is just entering his prime, and teamed with Littleton, the Raiders now have two linebackers who can actually cover.
Last season, guys like Tahir Whitehead and Vontaze Burfict led the way early on, before Burfict was lost for the season due to suspension. Whitehead, while always a 100-tackle guy, struggled mightily in coverage, and became a liability on the second level of the Raiders defense. Will Compton was added later in the season, and played well, but was not brought back in free agency.
Littleton and Kwiatkoski lead a new-look group that will also include Tanner Muse, a standout defensive player from Clemson who was selected with one of the Raiders three third round picks. Muse was a bit of a hybrid with the Tigers, but he will move to linebacker full time in Vegas, and has the overall skill set to make an impact on defense, and special teams.
Looking at the Raiders position groups heading into 2020, the linebacker group is the one that has improved the most, and it will be interesting to see if this defense can take a step forward this season. Littleton is a special player, and was a huge addition this offseason, but it will take a group effort at the position group if this Raiders team is going to make their second playoff appearance since 2003.