Las Vegas Raiders: 3 Reasons the defense will be better than advertised in 2021
New Additions to the Defensive Line
As Jon Gruden famously stated, good pass rushers are hard to come by, and since Las Vegas traded away Khalil Mack, they haven’t been able to find anyone that can come close to replacing him. Now, this doesn’t mean that Maxx Crosby, who was a candidate for the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, isn’t talented, he just simply can’t be the team’s only pass rusher.
Thankfully, in 2021, he won’t be. In the offseason, Las Vegas brought in Yannick Ngokoue, who was formerly with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and Baltimore Ravens. Ngokoue ferocity and speed off the line should allow him to produce at a high level, and it’ll alleviate some of the double teams on Crosby, which should allow for him to have the same type of production that he had in his rookie season.
Las Vegas also added some players that could help with the team’s rush defense. Two of those guys are Quinton Jefferson and Solomon Thomas. Jefferson has played with Bradley in Seattle, and he is a solid player, so he is a nice addition for the front seven. Thomas has a bit more to prove, as he never lived up to the expectations that come with being a third overall pick.
Hopefully, this motivates him to be a real difference-maker on the defense.
These additions should allow for Las Vegas to have better production in pass rush and rush defense, which in turn allows the secondary to perform better. So, if this group can get the job done, then the defense will already be making one step in the right direction.