The AFC is loaded with quarterback talent so the Raiders need to improve the pass defense if they’re going to compete for a playoff spot. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes that New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson should be a trade target for Las Vegas.
“Adoree’ Jackson is set to be a free agent in 2024 and is off to a rough start with the Giants. He’s earned a 45.7 grade from PFF, which ranks 89th among corners this season,” Ballentine wrote in a September 20 column.
“Some of his best work with the Giants came when Patrick Graham was the defensive coordinator. Now that the 44-year-old is in that role with the Raiders, it would make sense to see if the Giants want to get a pick out of Jackson right now.”
Jackson spent one season under Graham in 2021 where he had an interception, eight passes defended and 62 combined tackles in 13 games. If the Raiders did trade for Jackson, he’d be able to catch on quickly thanks to his previous experience with Graham.
Defensive Line Struggling for Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders’ defensive line appeared to be a strength of the team in training camp. That hasn’t been the case through two games. The does have 4.0 sacks but hasn’t been getting consistent pressure. Star defensive end Maxx Crosby was largely neutralized against the Bills in Week 2 as he was consistently double-teamed and nobody else on the defensive line stepped up.
Both of the sacks the Raiders had against the Bills came from linebackers. Head coach Josh McDaniels says the team tried to get creative with Crosby but couldn’t get anything to work.
“We moved Maxx. Maxx wasn’t always in the same spot,” McDaniels said during his September 17 postgame press conference. “At the same time, the other team gets a vote every play. So they can choose to do something to try to limit one of your best players, and then we have to have other players step up and make some plays.”
Chandler Jones’ continued absence has clearly been a blow to the defensive line but the Raiders used the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Tyree Wilson. They need him to improve his play or the defense will continue to struggle.
Maxx Crosby Says DL Needs to Get on Same Page
The Raiders don’t have enough talent in the secondary to make up for a lackluster pass rush. The team needs to figure out ways to get after the quarterback. Maxx Crosby doesn’t believe the defensive line is playing up to its potential.
“It’s across the board,” Crosby said after the September 17 loss, via The Athletic. “We’ve all got to get home. We all got to win. … We all got to be on the same page.”
Defensive tackle Bilal Nichols has struggled to make an impact since the Raiders signed him to a two-year contract last season. He was blunt in his assessment of the defensive line.
“We just got to do better and play better,” Nichols said. “That’s all. Point blank, period.”