The Las Vegas Raiders found themselves facing many defensive problems when the new regime took over. Just two months later, every box has been checked off, at least on paper. How did they do it?
As the Raiders headed into the 2022 off-season, many question-marks surrounded the defensive side of the ball in Las Vegas. With problems ranging from finding a new starting outside corner, all the way to looking for their first defensive tackle under contract for the upcoming year, no shortage of situations needed to be addressed.
First-year general manager Dave Ziegler has been masterful, not only going down the list and checking every box but ensuring the Raiders land the ideal player-types for defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
At every step, the new Raiders’ front office has prioritized defense. The first signing made, even before the start of free agency, was a defensive player. Following that, the first player they agreed to terms with during the legal tampering period was a defensive player. When the free agency signing period officially began, guess which side of the ball the first player signed was on? Not surprisingly, the defensive side.
Of the 22 new faces coming into the organization this off-season, 13 of them are defensive players, with the elite pass-rusher Chandler Jones headlining the bunch. These signings helped repair all damaged units, being Casey Hayward’s replacement at starting corner, overall cornerback depth, linebacker depth, interior defensive line, and grabbing a split-safety.
From here on out, every defensive player brought is just a bonus as there are no longer any immediate needs. How the Raiders’ front office managed to fix these problems is what’s on the menu today.