Raiders Named Best Fit for Super Bowl Champion Pass Rusher

emmanuel ogbah

Getty Emmanuel Ogbah with Patrick Mahomes.

The defensive line for the Las Vegas Raiders is looking like one of the team’s biggest strengths. However, the depth behind Maxx Crosby and Malcolm Koonce on the edges is a bit concerning.

Tyree Wilson should be better in his second year but there are still a lot of question marks about him. The Raiders could want to add a veteran pass rusher to the mix just to secure their depth a bit more. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell pitched the idea of the team signing free agent pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah.

“Maxx Crosby is a blue-chip player, and I see Malcolm Koonce as an ascending talent,” Barnwell wrote in a May 20 column. “That gives the Raiders two productive edge defenders to pair with newly signed defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. That said, there’s still room for a rotational pass-rusher, which opens the door for Ogbah. He logged five sacks in Miami last season, and he has totaled 42 over his eight seasons in the league. You can never have too many pass-rushers when you play in the same division as Patrick Mahomes.”

Ogbah spent the last four seasons with the Miami Dolphins but was part of the Kansas City Chiefs team that won the Super Bowl in 2019. He’s not a Pro Bowl-level player but he’s gotten over 5.0 sacks in five seasons. As the third or fourth pass rusher, that’d be valuable production for the Raiders and he likely wouldn’t cost much in free agency.

Other DEs Las Vegas Raiders Could Consider

If Ogbah decides to go elsewhere or the Raiders aren’t interested, there are other options the team could consider. Yannick Ngakoue could make some sense. He was the team’s sack leader in 2021 and formed a close relationship with Crosby. He struggles in run defense but has proven to be a good situational pass rusher. He’d be a good addition.

Carl Lawson has dealt with some serious injury issues in recent seasons but is only 28. He might be worth taking a chance on. Calais Campbell could also be interesting. He can play defensive end or defensive tackle and would bring a ton of leadership to a young defense. He’s past his prime at 37 but could still have some juice if he plays limited snaps. The Raiders didn’t draft any defensive linemen this year so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they added one of these veterans.

What to Expect From Tyree Wilson in Year 2?

The lack of activity the Raiders have at defensive end this offseason could be a sign of confidence in Wilson. He was the No. 7 overall pick just a year ago but really struggled as a rookie. He missed much of training camp as he recovered from an injury he suffered in college. He was able to play in all 17 games but only notched 3.5 sacks.

The Raiders need a lot more from him considering his draft status. The team passed up defenders who were impact rookies like Jalen Carter and Christian Gonzalez to take Wilson. He has all the tools to be a star player. He’s lengthy and very strong. He’s still young so the Raiders don’t need him to be Maxx Crosby in Year 2 but they do need him to get at least 5.0 sacks.

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