Las Vegas Raiders: Top free agent targets for roster needs in 2021
Defensive Tackles (3-Technique)
Notice the specifics of this defensive tackle spot. The 3-technique defender should be a better interior pass-rusher than the 1-technique player. He usually plays one gap and needs to generate pressure—think of Maurice Hurst as an example. Maliek Collins was a huge disappointment in this role through the 2020 season.
Larry Ogunjobi (Writer’s Suggestion)
Between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Larry Ogunjobi logged 11 sacks and 20 tackles for loss as a disruptive force on the interior of the Cleveland Browns defensive line.
In 2020, Ogunjobi’s numbers dipped a bit. He finished with 2.5 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures. Yet the Charlotte product played a solid role within a top-10 run defense, accounting for 46 tackles, 23 solo, and five for loss. Turning 27 years old in June, he’s in his prime with a track record for penetrating the front line.
Jurrell Casey (Value Option)
Before you turn your nose up at 31-year-old Jurrell Casey, who only played three games this past season because of a torn bicep, keep in mind, he hadn’t missed more than two contests in a single campaign before 2020.
Assuming Casey bounces back from injury, he could wreak havoc on the interior. He recorded at least five sacks in seven consecutive campaigns, which is an impressive stretch for a defensive tackle.
Sheldon Rankins (Mike Mayock’s Choice)
Sheldon Rankins jumped off to a strong career start, recording 14 sacks in his first three seasons. Over the last two terms, he’s battled injuries, missing 10 outings since 2019.
General manager Mike Mayock may roll the dice on a healthy Rankins though. He had high expectations for the 6’2″, 305-pounder coming out of Louisville in 2016:
Mike Mayock breaks down the Saints top pick! The Saints will pick 16th (47th overall) in Round 2 and 15th (78th overall) in Round 3
Posted by New Orleans Saints on Friday, April 29, 2016
Paired with Hurst, Rankins could play around 50 percent of the defensive snaps and make an impact. At a bargain-bin price, he’s worth a shot if healthy.