The Las Vegas Raiders will likely be moving to a 3-4 defense in 2022, which makes the linebacker group one that must be targeted this offseason.
The Las Vegas Raiders brought in Patrick Graham to be their new defensive coordinator, as the coaching staff goes through wholesale changes with Josh McDaniels taking over as head coach. Graham replaces Gus Bradley, who had the team moving in the right direction last season but was deemed expendable as they begin their new regime in the desert.
With Graham moving to a base 3-4 defense, the Raiders will need to make sure they not only have talent at the linebacker spot but also depth. Going into the offseason, Denzel Perryman and Divine Deablo are on the roster and should be starters in 2022, but outside of those two, changes are coming.
Nicholas Morrow is entering free agency, and it will be interesting to see if the new regime has seen enough of him to bring him back. Morrow was bit by the injury bug last season, and while he was a favorite of Jon Gruden, he may be on his way out this offseason.
KJ Wright was brought in on a one-year deal during the season, and he also could be shown the door this offseason. All told, this is a position group I can see the team revamping in a big way over the next few months.
Raiders must address LB in draft and free agency
The free agency pool is loaded with quality linebackers, especially inside, where McDaniels could bring a familiar face from New England with him in Dont’a Hightower. The NFL Draft is another place where the Raiders should attack this position group, and I believe they should utilize a Day 2 pick on either an inside or outside linebacker.
After rumors that Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will get a new deal, the team is still linked to Russell Wilson.
Overall, there has to be excitement for the fan base with Graham coming in as the new defensive coordinator, and he is going to get the most out of this roster. McDaniels and Ziegler have a tall task ahead of them, especially on defense, so expect a lot of noise this offseason in terms of this specific position group.