The Raiders allowed 29.2 points per game in 2018 which was the worst in the league. They also allowed 381 yards per contest. This needs to change in 2019 if they are to win more than four games. The main areas of need are safety, cornerback, linebacker and defensive end. The team only had 13 sacks over the season. This is unacceptable.
Let’s see who they should target for the Raiders defense in 2019.
Earl Thomas – Safety
Thomas is a player to keep an eye on. There is no way he will return to Seattle after the way he left the field earlier in the season. He has publicly stated in the past that he wants to play in Dallas but if a deal cannot be done, the Raiders should be looking in his direction to help stop the flow of touchdowns.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Safety
Clinton-Dix had a few good years with the Packers but was a little off last season and was traded to the Redskins. They will definitely not renew his contract and so will be on the market this season. He needs a fresh start and will be a cheap option for the team. He has qualities the Raiders lack and suits the setup. He still has many good years ahead of him.
Ronald Darby – Cornerback
Darby is an all-around great player when he is healthy. He tore his ACL last season and looks set to be picked up by another franchise. The Raiders desperately need a good cornerback after leaking multiple touchdowns to the position in 2018.
He will be a cheaper option due to his latest injury. He is listed as the best in pass breakups since the 2015 season. The Raiders need to go hard for a player with his ability.
Jadeveon Clowney – Defensive End
The Texans have a solid defense and look set to unload Clowney this offseason. There is a lot to like about the player who will be entering his sixth season and former number one overall pick. He is a great pass rusher and would fit nicely into the Raiders lineup. He had a down year in 2018 and will look to breathe life into his career with a new franchise. This player is a must for the team to target.
Frank Clark – Defensive End
Clark has been solid for the Seahawks since he was drafted. At just 25, he is perfect for the Raiders to chase. He averages 10 sacks a year and had 13 in total in 2018. As many as the Raiders whole team had. He is hungry to get after the football and is a relentless defender. His experience and knowledge would be paramount in helping to rebuild the defense and instill belief into the younger players.
Trey Flowers – Defensive End
The Raiders are in desperate need of a pass rusher. Flowers is only 25 years old and looks set to leave the Patriots as a free agent. He made 56 total tackles in 2018 and recorded 7.5 sacks. He would be a perfect fit for the Raiders team in need of his skill set.
Chris Long – Defensive End
Let’s be honest, Long is old. But at 34, he comes with a lot of experience and could help to mentor the young defensive unit. He is the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the year. His father Howie Long is a Raiders legend and it could end up as a good fit. If the Raiders can get him on a discount for a year or two, it would be a step in the right direction for both parties.
C.J. Mosley – Linebacker
The leadership that Mosley could bring to the Raiders is unquestionable. He has been an all-pro yearly since he was drafted in 2014. He made 105 tackles last season. He will require a team to fork out a lot of money to get his services, but he will be worth every penny.