ESPN lists Raiders biggest remaining roster hole and how to fix it

Surprisingly, it's not QB.
Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

I know it's hard to believe, but the Raiders aren't a perfect team. Not yet at least. Even with Gardner Minshew running the show, there's still room for improvement before training camp kicks off in late July. But with a few minor roster fixes, it's not unreasonable to think that the Raiders will probably end up becoming the new Chiefs.

ESPN knows that. It's why they wrote their latest piece, "2024 NFL offseason: Biggest remaining roster holes for all 32 teams." And sure, you may be thinking that this is a dumb introduction because 1.) it's not funny and 2.) ESPN talks about all 32 teams, not just the Raiders. Both are certainly true, but what's the point of letting details get in the way of a good story. ESPN knows exactly what the Raiders need to do in order to have the perfect* roster. Here's what they said.

*Slightly better.

ESPN lists Raiders biggest remaining roster hole and how to fix it

Roster hole: Edge rusher

"Maxx Crosby is awesome: a Defensive Player of the Year candidate every season. Unfortunately for the Raiders, he is not two people. Somebody has to play opposite Crosby, and other players have to be there to rotate in at edge rusher. Tyree Wilson was disappointing in his rookie season and could move to defensive tackle full time. If that happens, the other starter at edge rusher will be Malcolm Koonce. Koonce had eight sacks last season but succeeded partly because, among qualifying edge rushers, only Byron Young from the Rams was double-teamed less often.

A bigger issue is what's behind Wilson and Koonce: undrafted free agents and veterans who have bounced around the league such as Janarius Robinson (one career sack) and Elerson Smith (zero career sacks). A veteran free agent addition such as Bud Dupree or Yannick Ngakoue would make that inside move for Wilson a lot easier."

That assessment's pretty bleak for a defensive line that starts with Crosby and Christian Wilkins. Wilson was admittedly awful last year, but he wouldn't be the first rookie edge rusher to have an underwhelming start to his career. (That's our story and we're sticking with it.) With that, if a healthy Yannick Ngakoue wants to come back to Vegas and repeat his 10-sack 2021 season, I wouldn't complain.