The Las Vegas Raiders were feeling good about themselves heading into the bye week but they’ve come crashing back down to earth after a poor showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the defense showed signs of life in Week 5, it’s now abundantly clear that this group isn’t good enough to put out a consistently decent effort. Jon Gruden teased potential changes after the game and it’s far past time the Raiders addressed their defensive issues.
Many fans would love to see the dismissal of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. That means the Raiders need to find some more defensive talent. Fortunately for them, there could be some strong options on the trade market.
ALL the latest Las Vegas Raiders news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Quinnen Williams Could Be Available
Though he’s only in the second year of his career, 2019 third overall pick Quinnen Williams is rumored to be available in a trade, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
And though more than a few teams have called inquiring about DT Quinnen Williams, source said it will take much more than the rumored second-round pick for Gang Green to part with him. GM Joe Douglas will consider anything, but for a player as highly regarded as Williams, it’s more of a question of, “How many second rounders?”
The start to Williams’ career hasn’t been overly impressive but pretty much every player the New York Jets have had over the last couple of years has underperformed. There’s a reason Williams was highly-touted coming out of college and he’s still very young. A change of scenery could be exactly what the former Alabama standout needs.
He’s got three sacks on the season which is solid for a defensive tackle through seven games. He’d be second on the Raiders in sacks right now. The team was really high on Maliek Collins heading into the season but he’s done close to nothing. Williams is younger and more productive. He could be a big upgrade on the defensive line. If a second-round pick plus change could make it happen, the Raiders should try to pull off that trade.
Raiders Should Hit up the Bengals
Since it’s looking like the Raiders are going to ride with Guenther until further notice, the team should at least try to help him out. One thing they could do is try to bring over one or two of his best players from when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap has serious issues with the team and is making the issues very public. He’s the Bengals’ all-time leader in sacks with 82.5 but they’ve pretty much eliminated his role on the defense. He’s gotta get out of there and the Raiders would make a lot of sense. He had his best years under Guenther.
Geno Atkins is one of the best interior pass rushers ever and he’s exactly the type of player the Raiders would love to have. However, he’s got a shoulder injury that might need surgery. It’s not likely he gets moved.