New faces to bring in via free agency
Austin Johnson of the Giants is a guy that makes sense for Vegas to target. Starting all 17 games last year, the DT put together a 3.5 sack season with 72 tackles. This move makes a lot of sense as new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is comfortable with him, and it’s unlikely he comes at a steep price.
Moving onto some of the flashier names, Baltimore’s Brandon Williams may be one to keep an eye on. Coming off a down year and climbing in age, the Raiders may be able to pick him up for a fraction of the contracts he’s used to getting. Yannick Ngakoue played with Williams during the latter half of 2021, and this may lead to an attempt to recruit him.
Why not? Yannick has already taken to Twitter to recruit another Raven defensive lineman, Calais Campbell, who was also his teammate in Jacksonville.
And what a player Campbell continues to be. Recording 49 tackles in 14 starts last year, the 36 year old to be showed he still can play, and perhaps more importantly, can stay available. Before last year, Campbell made four straight Pro Bowl appearances and was listed as the 10th best interior lineman vs the run in 2020 per PFF.
New Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels might look to one of his former players, running back James White, for help in getting the run game going.
Akiem Hicks from Chicago is one last guy to talk about. Being a staple in that Bears defense for years, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Raiders new assistant GM – former Chicago assistant director of personnel, Champ Kelly – took Hicks with him to Vegas. The towering 6’4 DT was responsible for 3.5 sacks and 25 tackles in the 9 games he played last season.