Raiders LB Nick Kwiatkoski ranked as top-20 linebacker

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Heading into the 2020 offseason, the Raiders made it a priority to upgrade their linebacker unit. They went out and signed two proven veterans in Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton. The belief was that Littleton would step in and be the team’s best linebacker, but that wasn’t the case.

By far, their best linebacker in 2020 was Kwiatkoski as he thrived in coverage. While he’s not the best run defender in the world, his ability to play in space is what makes him so valuable.

In a recent by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, he ranked the top-32 linebackers heading into the 2021 season. Kwiatkoski made an appearance inside the top-20 at No. 18. Here is what Monson about the linebacker for the Raiders:

“One of the most successful player acquisitions the Raiders have made under the current regime, Nick Kwiatkoski isn’t a spectacular linebacker, but he’s a very good one who is consistently underrated throughout the league. He has surrendered just one touchdown in coverage in each of his past two seasons.”

The hope is that if Littleton can return to his Pro Bowl form, the Raiders could have one of the better linebacking corps in all of football. They are also hoping that two third-round picks in Tanner Muse and Divine Deablo can help add more speed and athleticism to the unit.

Kwiatkoski isn’t the flashiest linebacker in the NFL, but he just gets the job done. Look for him to be even better during the 2021 season for the Raiders.

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