Las Vegas Raiders: 53-man roster prediction entering 2021 training camp
Edge Rushers: Yannick Ngakoue, Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby, Malcolm Koonce, Carl Nassib
If the Raiders want to improve on defense, they will need drastic improvement when it comes to generating pressure on quarterbacks, and the job will be almost solely on the defensive line to get that done.
Gus Bradley is not going to blitz, as his defenses have ranked in the bottom three of blitz percentage the last three seasons, so that is just his philosophy as a coach.
So they need front four pressure to be successful. Which is a big reason Bradley jumped at the opportunity to bring in Yannick Ngakoue, who played for him in Jacksonville. There are plenty of flaws in his overall game, but Ngakoue has proven that he can produce sacks from the moment he entered the league.
Maxx Crosby has also proven he can produce as well but like Ngakoue still needs to round out his game.
Clelin Ferrell has provided good play in the run game but hasn’t taken off as a pass rusher. The little things are certainly important, but he needs to take a step this season to pressuring the quarterback to help the Raiders justify how high they drafted him.
And rounding out the group is Carl Nassib and Malcolm Koonce, who should be rotational players. Nassib has never been a huge sack producer, so I wouldn’t expect much to change, and with Koonce being a rookie, there’s likely a learning curve that will need to occur early on.