Raiders: Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock did their job revamping the defense
We start out upfront along the defensive line, where the Raiders certainly needed help this offseason after racking up only 21 sacks as a team last season. The biggest addition was defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who played under Gus Bradley in Jacksonville, and has already brought tenacity, and leadership to the position group.
Both he and newly-minted captain Maxx Crosby should be one of the better duos in the league in 2021, and they have talent behind them, including 2021 draft pick, Malcolm Koonce. Clelin Ferrell, a former No. 4 overall pick, and Carl Nassib will round out the defensive end group, and you have to figure the addition of Ngakoue and Koonce make them significantly better than last year.
The interior is going to be interesting, as the front office added the likes of Quinton Jefferson, Solomon Thomas, Darius Philon, and most recently, Gerald McCoy to the fold. That is a better group than the Raiders had last season, and the hope is that this revamped defensive line can get pressure on the outside, as well as cause havoc on the inside, which will have a ripple effect through the rest of the defense.