Raiders 2021 free agency wish list: Edge rushers aplenty

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Levi Damien
·3 min read
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Finding a solution to the Raiders’ pass rush deficiencies has proven problematic since Gruden took over. Trading away All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack just before Gruden’s first season back signaled some rough days ahead. But most thought three years in, he’d have scrounged together something resembling a pass rush.

Last season, the Raiders were acting like a team desperate to scrounge up some pass rush, signing the likes of David Irving, Vic Beasley, and Takkarist McKinley. None of it worked.

They will need to address the position again. The first place to look would be at McKinley who spent the latter part of last season on injured reserve after being claimed off waivers from the 49ers via the Bengals via the Falcons.

If they think a healthy McKinley is the answer, it’s possible to just re-sign him and call it a day. If not, there is a good-looking group of pass rushers who could hit the market who would fit the bill.

The prize of free agency would be Shaq Barrett, but with the Raiders not exactly flush with cash, they may have to let other teams fight over him. It’s a deep free-agent class, so they may be able to be choosy.

Melvin Ingram

From 2017-19 Ingram was a Pro Bowler and 24.5 of his 49 career sacks occurred in those seasons. Those were also the first three years with Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator. Well, now Bradley is the DC in Las Vegas. Bradley has already brought over with him several of his defensive staff from his time with the Chargers, including linebackers coach Richard Smith. Though Ingram will be 32 in April and his 2020 was a forgettable one, with just 7 appearances and no sacks, if there’s any place that would be the ideal landing spot to both revive and finish out his career, it’s the Raiders

Bud Dupree

Dupree was Mike Mayock’s second-ranked edge rusher in the 2015 draft. He would end up being drafted at 22nd overall in the first round and has put up 39.5 sacks in his six-year career. His last two seasons have been his best, with 19.5 sacks. At 28 years old, he figures to land a fairly lucrative long-term deal.

Matthew Judon

Since becoming a full-time starter four years ago, Judon has averaged eight sacks, 23 QB hits, and 12.5 tackles for loss per season. He is coming off consecutive Pro Bowl seasons. He came on strong late last season with a sack in four of the Ravens’ final six games, but that late surge was interrupted by a two-game stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Leonard Floyd

The No. 9 pick in the 2016 draft, Floyd was Mayock’s second-ranked edge rusher in that draft. He largely disappointed over four seasons in Chicago but broke out last season after signing with the Rams. There he put up a career-high 10.5 sacks. Mayock and Gruden tend to like giving chances to former highly drafted players who they liked coming out, but who failed to live up to their draft position early on.

Others: Haason Reddick