Las Vegas Raiders: Biggest questions heading into 2021 training camp
Is the Raiders defense finally going to be any good?
Last offseason, the Raiders made several splashy signings on defense and there was lots of hope among the fans for an improved unit. We quickly discovered that even signing talented players was not enough to make up for Paul Guenther’s shortcomings and the defense doomed the Raiders to another failed season.
This year the signings have been more under the radar except for pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who is very excited to don the Silver and Black. Other signings, like Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson, could end up being impact players but none of them are grabbing any headlines or moving the needle on paper.
The Raiders also made a concerted effort to focus on defense in the draft and selected a few highly-rated players, including safety Trayvon Moehrig in the second round. All of these changes are nice in theory but the question remains if new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley can get the most from this unit.
Even Bradley’s track record as a defensive coach has come into question but he will be hard-pressed to not improve the unit from a scheme standpoint given the struggles under Guenther.
As we have discussed at great length recently and has become a story in the national media thanks to Derek Carr’s recent comments, the Raiders have had one of the worst defenses in the NFL since Jon Gruden took over in 2018. One would think that pairing a top seven offense with even a top-15 defense is a recipe for a postseason berth, but the question remains if the changes the Raiders have made will pay off on the field.