Looking ahead: Biggest 2022 offseason need for the Las Vegas Raiders

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The Raiders are squarely in the playoff hunt in the AFC. In fact, they have a really good shot at winning the AFC West if they can get a victory in Week 10 over the Kansas City Chiefs.

But it is never too early to look ahead to the offseason and what the team’s needs might be in 2022.

In a recent article by ESPN, they listed every team’s top need heading into the 2022 offseason. For the Raiders, that was the interior defensive line. Here is a quick snippet of their thoughts on their needs going into next season:

“On the defensive line, edge rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue have emerged as one of the league’s best tandems halfway through the season with 87 quarterback pressures — the second most of any duo. However, the defense’s 51.0 run-defense grade is, in large part, due to poor play on the interior. Raiders interior defensive linemen have on average tackled the ball carrier 3.86 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, dead last in the NFL.”

The Raiders have gotten good production from Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson this season, but their biggest issue has been their run defense. Johnathan Hankins is getting older and is starting to break down and the team needs a long-term replacement.

While the Raiders could certainly use more depth on the offensive line and another outside receiver, their defensive line will be a priority once again this offseason. Look for Mike Mayock and the front office to explore free agency and the draft in 2022 to get an upgrade at defensive tackle.

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