As disappointing as the Las Vegas Raiders offense has been through two games, the pass rush has been equally disappointing. Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby were supposed to form an unblockable duo. Crosby has been playing well and has the team’s only sack this season but Jones has been largely ineffective thus far.
That’s not to mention that no other players are figuring out how to create consistent pressure. Crosby will continue to wreak havoc and Jones should improve his play but the depth behind those two is still questionable. Clelin Ferrell, Malcolm Koonce and Tashawn Bower haven’t shown a lot of pass rush juice to start the season. Considering the Raiders don’t have pass rushers on the interior, they need their EDGE rushers to bring pressure.
Meanwhile, the Raiders need help when it comes to getting after the passer. Maxx Crosby is playing at an elite level, but he’s the only one with a sack and has eight total pressures. Chandler Jones has just four.
Outside of those two, Johnathan Abram is the only one with multiple pressures.
That’s not good enough if the Raiders are going to compete in the AFC West. Giving up a pick for Fowler would give them someone to get Jones off the field some after playing 89 percent of the snaps through the first two weeks.
What Would Fowler Cost in a Trade?
Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler has proven in his short time with the team that he likes to make trades. In fact, he just recently made one with the New England Patriots for offensive lineman Justin Herron. If there’s a trade available that will make the team better, Ziegler will consider it.
Fowler was the No. 3 overall draft pick when he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. He’s never been able to live up to his draft status and didn’t finish out his contract with the Jaguars. However, he did have one great season with the Los Angeles Rams where he had 11.5 sacks. He’s now with the Cowboys and has a 91.6 Pro Football Focus grade through two games. Dallas already has arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL with Micah Parsons and an expensive running mate in DeMarcus Lawrence. Perhaps the Cowboys would be interested in trading Fowler for draft capital before he hits free agency in the offseason. Considering his inconsistent track record, a fourth-round pick would likely be the highest offer the Raiders would make.
Raiders Need an Interior Pass Rusher More
Having too many EDGE rushers is never a bad thing but the Raiders don’t really need to give up draft picks for one. Koonce and Bower have barely played this season so they could still have an impact once they get more snaps. Regardless, Jones and Crosby will continue to get the bulk of snaps.
The Raiders would be wiser to target interior pass rushers. Bilal Nichols got hurt in Week 2 and the extent of his injury is unclear. If he has to miss significant time, the team won’t have a single defensive tackle on the roster who had a sack last season. Ndamukong Suh has been linked to the team for months and it might finally be time to make a deal happen.