Raiders rumors: Las Vegas defense could be best in AFC West in 2024

The Las Vegas Raiders are a few pieces away from having the best defense in the entire AFC West in 2024.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ian Maule/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders pulled off a big move in free agency this offseason, adding former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. The move for Wilkins filled a major void on the roster at the position, and by bringing back Adam Butler and John Jenkins, that group could be one of the best in football this season.

2023 first-round pick Tyree Wilson played well after moving inside towards the end of the 2023 NFL season, a move that was made possible by the rise of Malcolm Koonce. With eight sacks across the last eight games of the season, Koonce is a formidable piece opposite Maxx Crosby coming off the edge, giving the Raiders an elite pass rush heading into next season.

At linebacker, Robert Spillane was an excellent get in free agency last offseason, and his arrival helped bolster the play of Divine Deablo. While linebacker could use some more depth, you have to think that group as a whole has a chance to take another step forward in 2024 as well.

In the secondary, Jack Jones came in and immediate became the CB1, showing himself to be an excellent playmaker. Like Deablo and Koonce, Nate Hobbs had a solid bounce-back year in 2023, and Trevon Moehrig really improved thanks to the addition of Marcus Epps.

Overall, the Raiders could be a few pieces away from having one of the best defenses in the AFC, as well as the best in their division.

Raiders defense needs a few more pieces

The glaring need on this defense is at the cornerback position, as Jones is looking for another outside cornerback to join him in the starting lineup. Hobbs is developing into a strong slot cornerback, but the depth is weak at cornerback, and something the team will likely address early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

After Antonio Pierce took over as head coach, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham really hit his stride, and it was a huge development to bring him back for another season in the role. The AFC West has elite offensive players, but on the defensive side of the ball, Las Vegas could be another cornerback and linebacker away from having the most complete unit in the division.