Mayock, Raiders have a lot of options to overhaul leaky D –

The Raiders Insider Podcast

In the age of vast-open, adaptable offenses, the Raiders’ defense is getting still left in the dust.

The deficiency of premiere talent at linebacker is a important explanation why. The Raiders put all their eggs in the Vontaze Burfict basket previous time. He played solid for four game titles ahead of being jettisoned for the rest of the period by the NFL soon after a questionable hit on Indianapolis Colts limited stop Jack Doyle. 

Even with Burfict on the discipline, the Raiders experienced no just one to match up with opposing limited ends. They tried transferring cornerback Daryl Worley inside from the Kansas Town Chiefs in 7 days 13, but he was bodied by Travis Kelce. The linebackers struggled in coverage no matter who it was against. Tahir Whitehead permitted a 150.five passer score when focused, the worst variety for an off-ball linebacker in the NFL.

In other words and phrases: The Raiders must handle the linebacker posture this offseason. They won’t be able to put it off any for a longer period.

With two picks in the top 19, the Raiders will have a decision to make. Do they trade up to draft Clemson star Isaiah Simmons or do they lay back again and decide on in between LSU’s Patrick Queen and Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray at No. 19? Or do they elect to go to totally free agency to pick up a linebacker and fill other wants in the draft?

Let’s get a search at their draft alternatives.

Isaiah Simmons: The Athletic Mutant

Simply place, Simmons is the fantastic linebacker for the fashionable NFL. 

He is six-foot-four, 230 kilos and can engage in all over the field. During his junior time at Clemson, Simmons recorded 299 snaps at inside linebacker, 262 at slot cornerback, 132 at free basic safety, 116 at outside the house linebacker and 100 at solid basic safety. Simmons is of the Derwin James mildew but in a larger offer. He’s Brian Urlacher with an further equipment.

Now, it is really 1 factor to enjoy all around the area and it can be one more to be helpful at it. Simmons was amazing no subject wherever he was, specifically when in coverage. For every Professional Soccer Target, Simmons earned an previously mentioned-regular protection grade at every situation he lined up at. In the course of his job at Clemson, Simmons experienced a vocation coverage grade of 92.five and only authorized six yards for every target.

Best for the present day NFL, Simmons can cover limited ends, run sideline-to-sideline with operating backs, blanket slot men and make performs in the center of the subject as a protection.

He also was very helpful at getting following the quarterback. Simmons pressured the passer on 32.nine p.c of his rushes, the best of any power-5 defender.

— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) February 27, 2020

Unreal athleticism. 

Talked previous 7 days about #Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons — Has the characteristics to engage in Protection & Dime LB in the NFL.

Let us operate as a result of some film examples (thread).

Consider Cover three here — rolled down to the TE aspect. Power player vs. the operate. Check out him near on the QB… @NFLMatchup

— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 24, 2020

Fantastic protection instincts. 

Simmons matched in coverage vs. a TE…Participate in the fast sport (adhere route). Angle to the ball + the PBU. @NFLMatchup

— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 24, 2020

The vary. 

Simmons showing assortment to the ball vs. Ohio Point out…Align in the article & overlap the outdoors vertical. @NFLMatchup

— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 24, 2020

Closing speed. 

Simmons participating in like a “robber” basic safety in this clip…Slash the crosser & travel on the toss (with pace) @NFLMatchup

— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 24, 2020

In buy for the Raiders to make him the lynchpin of their defense, they probable will have to trade up. 

If there is certainly any question they are contemplating about it, Mayock gushed about Simmons and his flexibility Tuesday.

“You commence looking at guys on offense who can perform in the slot, functioning back again, be H-backs, there is actually not a label for them,” Mayock mentioned Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Blend. “They are just possibly dynamic gamers or they are not. And then you start out on the lookout about making an attempt to match up with people fellas on defense and when you start seeking in any division, specially ours, and the limited ends that we have to engage in in our divisions. You form of go, ‘Who matches up? If we want to engage in guy protection who can match up with individuals type of men? The huge fellas that operate fast, who do we have?’ 

“I assume extra and much more defenses around the league are stating who are the men you really don’t have to set a label on, but they are dynamic football players? Isaiah Simmons, he’s played in the again finish, he is performed at linebacker, he is occur off the edge and really the only restrictions on him are whichever the defensive coordinator places on him.”

Patrick Queen: The Quick Riser

Queen was a star in his to start with time as a starter in Baton Rouge, La. Constructed far more like a safety at six-one, 227 pounds, Queen has the sideline-to-sideline assortment to be a a few-down linebacker in the NFL.

Some teams could possibly want to see extra film from Queen, but he was a critical cog in LSU’s title run, making many plays through the Tigers’ historic run. He’s actual physical, athletic, fluid and clever and has drawn comparisons to 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander.

He has the ability established to be an rapid starter as a rookie both as a MIKE or WILL and appears to be to be a dynamic playmaker who is not going to have to appear off the subject in nickel deals.

Kenneth Murray: Plug And Participate in

The 3rd and closing initially-spherical solution at linebacker for the Raiders is Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray.

Murray is most productive as an off-ball linebacker who is permitted to go after and wreak havoc. He’s an athletic freak, who was susceptible to skipped tackles in advance of cleansing his method up this previous year.

Even though Murray has unbelievable array and can wreck an offense with his gap-taking pictures means, the Oklahoma product’s turn-and-operate protection abilities are a operate in progress. The variety, athleticism and explosiveness have groups hoping he can polish up the relaxation of his sport and be an each and every-down MIKE linebacker. Even if that does not function out, he ought to be ready to be a sound 3-down WILL at the NFL degree.

[RELATED: Why Raiders shouldn’t trade up for Herbert or Tua?]


Simmons is projected to be drafted somewhere in between No. three and No. nine overall. The Raiders now keeping the No. 12 and No. 19 picks will watch the very first few picks of the draft carefully. If groups move up to draft quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, Simmons could slip a touch, providing the Raiders an opening to make a transfer up and get the man who has all the expertise to be 1 of their defensive leaders for the foreseeable future.

If the Raiders can swap the No. 12 select, just one their third-spherical picks (No. 80) and a upcoming pick for the correct to transfer up and snag the Clemson linebacker, it really should be a no-brainer for Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden. Simmons will give them the dynamic player the defense has been lacking and he would healthy in seamlessly with the Clemson-esque lifestyle the Raiders are making an attempt to produce.

Thanks to the deep class of wide receivers, the Raiders nonetheless would be in a position to get an electric weapon like Henry Ruggs at No. 19 over-all.

If a deal can be built to carry Simmons to Las Vegas, the transfer is a no-brainer. A participant of his caliber and skill established not often comes alongside. Drafting him will be effectively value the price tag.

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