Defensive tackle depth finally a strength for Raiders

The Raiders did not hesitate to make a splash in free agency. On the opening day, the team agreed to a deal with Christian Wilkins to help improve the defensive line. The Raiders wanted to be aggressive, targeting the defensive tackle position, and accomplished that goal early.

However, Wilkins wasn’t the only defensive tackle that the Raiders signed this offseason. Las Vegas brought back two seasoned veterans in Adam Butler and John Jenkins. Here is what ESPN senior writer Paul Gutierrez had to say about those two moves:

While Jenkins, an 11-year veteran, was a full-season starter for the first time in his career and occupied space in run defense, Butler also appeared in all 17 games for the Raiders and had five sacks, one shy of a career high.

Both Jenkins and Butler are former Dolphins teammates of new Raiders DT Christian Wilkins, so there’s a familiarity on the interior of the defensive line that is invaluable as Las Vegas continues to upgrade its already strong defense.

Adding those three players, in addition to Byron Young and Tyree Wilson, should help fortify the interior of the Raiders’ defensive line. As long as Maxx Crosby and Malcolm Koonce can keep producing, this should be one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.

For the first time in years, the Raiders finally have depth on the defensive line. And that’s before we even get to the NFL Draft. This is a unit that should help the Raiders stay highly competitive in the AFC West this season.


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Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire