Las Vegas Raiders defense could be the best in football this upcoming season

The Raiders are establishing their own identity: Defense.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Raiders focusing on the defense

Keeping all of this in mind, with the draft completed and the offseason in full swing, we can begin to get a sense of what to expect and where this team's focus will be. The widespread consensus is that Antonio Pierce is assembling a smashmouth club that wants to run the ball while relying on a strong defense.

Marvin Lewis, who has a relationship with Coach Pierce, has been hired as an assistant coach with his primary focus on defense. Lewis won a Super Bowl as the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator in 2001, leading arguably one of the greatest defenses in NFL history.

Lewis is not the only big name brought in to strengthen this defense, the Raiders were able to land DT Christian Wilkins, a highly sought-after free agent, and pair him with superstar DE Maxx Crosby, who together could be a nightmare for opposing offenses. Wilkins will help the Raiders, who were looking to improve in the pass rush, which ranked 15th (PFF), and bolster their already-strong rush defense, which was ranked 5th (PFF).

The draft also brought in two players that could in fact contribute this season: CB Decamerion Richardson and LB Tommy Eichenberg, who were selected in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively, and both play positions where depth was needed. Adding Jack Jones during the 2023 NFL season was a stroke of genius, and he will be the unquestioned CB1 in 2024.

In addition to coaching Jones in college, Coach Pierce has known the CB since high school and they have a relationship outside of football. This season, Jones has the potential to be a leader on this defense, and his familiarity with the play style will surely be an invaluable asset.

Furthermore, Jones is a prime example of a player who embodies the Raiders Swagger that not many possess. Having said that, there are still several free agents to look out for who could potentially improve this defense even further (CB Xavien Howard, CB Steven Nelson, CB Stephen Gilmore, FS Quandre Diggs, FS Micah Hyde).