Las Vegas Raiders: One question for each defensive position in 2021
Defensive Tackle: How will the new tackles play a role?
This offseason, Las Vegas brought in a handful of defensive tackles after losing one of last year’s starters, Maurice Hurst. In fact, going into this season, Johnathan Hankins and Kendal Vickers are the only two defensive tackles who were on last season’s roster.
These new players were brought in to improve the team’s run-stopping and interior pass rush, two areas where Las Vegas have struggled for what seems like forever.
Two of the most notable additions were those of Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson. Thomas was a third overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2017 draft, and while he hasn’t lived up to expectations, he now has the potential to reinvent his career in Vegas.
Jefferson has always been a solid player, and he’ll bring veteran experience to the changed defensive line. The performance of these two players will really dictate how well Las Vegas stops the run in 2021.
Also, look for Darius Stills to make some plays. Stills is an undrafted rookie out of West Virginia University that Las Vegas signed after the 2021 NFL Draft. Rumor has it that the Las Vegas coaching staff is really high on Stills, so there is a chance he could get a decent amount of playing time too.
Answer: All of the additions at defensive tackle should benefit the team’s chances at stopping the run.