No team is projected to spend less at defensive tackle than Raiders in 2021

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Marcus Mosher
·2 min read
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The Las Vegas Raiders have a number of significant needs on the defensive side of the ball heading into the 2021 offseason. But with limited cap space and only three picks inside the top-100, the Raiders are going to have a difficult time adequately addressing every position of need.

However, the one position that needs the most help is at defensive tackle. According to Pro Football Focus, no team is projected to spend fewer dollars on the interior defensive line than the Raiders this offseason. With Johnathan Hankins and Maliek Collins both set to become free agents, the only (reliable) option available is Maurice Hurst.

The problem is that even with Hankins and Collins, who will both likely move on in free agency, this wasn’t a good interior defensive line. The Raiders had the No. 25 ranked run defense in the NFL last season with those players on the roster. Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden can’t just “replace” Hankins and Collins next year and hope to be better. They need to find upgrades.

Considering how weak the 2021 draft is with interior defensive line talent, the Raiders may be wise to explore free agency (or even trades) to upgrade the unit. Big-ticket players such as Leonard Williams and J.J. Watt may prove to be too pricy for the Raiders, but there are plenty of other options in free agency including Dalvin Tomlinson, Larry Ogunjobi and DaQuan Jones.

If the Raiders can find a way to upgrade this unit during the offseason, the defense has a real chance to improve dramatically in 2021. If not, they will likely continue to be among the worst defenses in the league. That’s how critical their need is at the defensive tackle position.