What condition the position is in: Assessing Raiders need at defensive tackle

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Levi Damien
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With free agency five weeks away, it’s time to check in on the Raiders’ defensive tackle position to give it a condition of either Strong, Stable, Unstable, Serious, or Critical.

Starters: Maurice Hurst, ??
Backups: Kendal Vickers, Niles Scott
Free agents: Johnathan Hankins, Maliek Collins, Chris Smith

Maurice Hurst appeared in 11 games last season, starting three. That’s his fewest games and starts in his three-year career. Mostly that was because the team had signed Maliek Collins to start ahead of him.

Collins didn’t live up to his expectations as the “key” to the Raiders’ defensive line. He generated almost no pressure and had no sacks with just one QB hit. He also had just 15 combined tackles.

The starter alongside Collins was Hankins. He is a stout run defender, putting up 48 combined tackles while starting all 16 games.

All others were depth, fill-ins and rotation guys.

Condition: Critical

When you have no full-time starters for sure returning and just one part-time starter coming back, you’ve got issues to address. Hurst has never played up to the potential he had as a prospect or even as a rookie. Hence the reason they signed Collins to start ahead of him. They are still desperately seeking inside pass rush.

Should Hankins leave in free agency, they will have literally no nose tackle on the roster. Making both defensive tackle spots in need of a move. Either keeping Hankins and signing an interior pass rusher or adding two new starting defensive tackles.