Jon Gruden is excited about Maliek Collins, and Raiders fans should be too
By Brad Weiss
Maliek Collins is going to be an exciting addition to a Las Vegas Raiders defensive line that took a big step forward during the 2019 NFL season.
The then-Oakland Raiders were able to muster only 13 sacks during the 2018 NFL season, by far the least amount in the NFL. The organization was coming off trading away star edge rusher Khalil Mack, replacing him with the likes of Arden Key, Bruce Irvin, and Frostee Rucker, so a dip in production was expected, but not as much as what happened.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, new general manager Mike Mayock made sure to address this issue, bringing in Clemson star Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick, and Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby, who did not have too much hype, and was selected by the team in the fourth round.
While Ferrell struggled early as a rookie, as he was asked to play out of position, Crosby flourished, notching ten sacks, nearly eclipsing the team’s 2018 total by himself. The new-look defensive line nearly doubled 2018’s output, notching 32 sacks, but more is going to be expected in 2020.
This offseason, the Raiders added Carl Nassib to the mix at edge rusher, and are hoping to get a healthy Arden Key back. In addition, Maliek Collins was added to the interior of the defense, and based on what we have seen from him in Dallas, he is someone who is going to make a big impact on this defensive line.
Collins is a player that Raiders fans should be excited about, and head coach Jon Gruden certainly is himself.
Scott Bair, who does a tremendous job for NBC Sports Bay Area tweeted this out on Thursday.