Raiders: 3 reasons this season will be different for Malcolm Koonce
Raiders depth issues
Whether we’re talking about Malcolm Koonce at defensive end or outside linebacker, there’s one huge similarity between the two: The second-year Raider is primed to be an immediate rotation piece at both.
While the edge duo is compromised of two All-Pro’s, it’s one of the more shallow parts of the defense. This is not only true when talking about the team’s defensive ends, but also the pass rushing outside linebackers.
No matter which of the two positions Graham makes a rotational move at, it’s hard to believe Koonce won’t be an immediate option due to his current competition on the roster. At 4-3 defensive end, Clelin Ferrell is the only real competition. In a 3-4, assuming Chandler Jones starts at linebacker here, Kyler Fackrell is the only competition.
There is a legitimate chance both Fackrell and Ferrell take the role of go-to rotational player at their respective positions, seeing how Clelin is a first-round pick and Fackrell has experience working with Graham. Koonce can still take pride in knowing he’s a more versatile player than Fackrell, and while Clelin is versatile himself, his versatility lies strictly on the defensive line.
The shallowness at both of these positions will be big for Koonce and his play time, as he looks to solidify himself as an asset to an NFL defense.