Raiders Named Fit for DE With 17.5 Sacks Who They Could’ve Drafted in 2019

josh allen

Getty Jacksonville Jaguars DE Josh Allen.

The Las Vegas Raiders pass rush came alive under head coach Antonio Pierce once he took over in Week 9. From the time he took over to the end of the season, the team had 30 sacks, which was third-best in the NFL in that period.

With the emergence of Malcolm Koonce and the continued development of Tyree Wilson, defensive end isn’t a huge need for the Raiders but the team could double down on the position and a big name.

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen had a breakout season in 2023 where he had a career-high 17.5 sacks and was named to his first Pro Bowl. Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes the Raiders should target him in free agency.

“Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher Josh Allen would be a logical fit for the Raiders,” Knox wrote in a January 22 column. “At 6’5” and 255 pounds, Allen has a build and range very similar to Crosby’s. He finished the 2023 season with 17.5 sacks and 46 quarterback pressures.

“Pairing Allen with Crosby would instantly give Las Vegas one of the most feared pass-rushing tandems in the league. In a division that does feature Mahomes and Herbert, that would be a massive advantage.”

Allen will be a likely candidate to get the franchise tag if the Jaguars can’t sign him to an extension. If they let him test free agency, he will be a major player to watch.

Las Vegas Raiders Could’ve Drafted Josh Allen in 2019

The Raiders had the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and they had a major need at defensive end. Coming out of Kentucky, Josh Allen was one of the players the team was expected to consider with the pick. However, the team pulled off a surprise and selected Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell.

In hindsight, that ended up being a mistake as Ferrell had 10.0 sacks in four seasons with the Raiders. He didn’t get his fifth-year option picked up and moved on to the San Francisco 49ers last offseason. Allen has 45.0 sacks in five seasons and would’ve been a great running mate for Maxx Crosby, who was drafted in the fourth round that same year.

Jon Gruden Spoke About Not Drafting Josh Allen

In 2019, Clelin Ferrell was expected to be a late first-round pick so many fans were stunned when the Raiders selected him at No. 4. Josh Allen was expected to be a top-10 pick and ended up getting selected by the Jaguars at No. 7.

The Raiders were fans of Allen heading into the draft. According to former head coach Jon Gruden, the team did want to draft the defensive end but thought Ferrell was the better scheme fit.

“We are a 4-3 defensive team and we really had no pure defensive ends on our team,” Gruden said in 2019, via Sports Illustrated. “And we wanted to take Josh because of his obvious pass rushing ability, but we needed a six-technique — a guy that could play on first down. Not that Josh can’t, but we needed what we felt was a pure 4-3 defensive end.

“We wish we could have taken Josh and Clelin honestly. It was a tough decision, and I know Jacksonville has a good young player there that is a great kid too.”

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