Improved pass-rush gives Raiders hope in 2021

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Over the offseason, the Raiders made it a priority to upgrade their pass rush. They signed Yannick Ngakoue as well as several other interior rushers. While the unit still needs to add talent, it’s a significantly upgrade group of rushers compared to what the team had a year ago.

How much has the unit actually improved and is it good enough to help improve the defense? That is the biggest question surrounding the Raiders.

But in a recent article by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, he discussed the biggest reason every team should be optimistic about the 2021 season. For the Raiders, that was none other than their improved pass rush. Here is a snippet of Knox’s thoughts on the unit:

“The Raiders should look forward to what their new-look pass rush can provide this season. They added Yannick Ngakoue and Solomon Thomas in free agency and used a third-round pick on Malcolm Koonce.

The Raiders already have one quality pass-rusher in Maxx Crosby, who had 17 sacks over the past two seasons. With the new trio on board and a top-10 offense still in place, Las Vegas should have enough talent on both sides of the ball to earn its first playoff berth since 2016.”

If Maxx Crosby or Clelin Ferrell can make a leap in Year 3, there is a chance this group could be tough to deal with in 2021. The addition of Ngakoue alone should be a significant upgrade for a defense that needed more speed off the edge.

For the first time since trading away Khalil Mack, the Raiders have a competent pass rush and that is one of the several reasons to be optimistic about this team this year.

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