Raiders should look to improve D-line in draft

Oakland could target top interior defender prospects like Michigan State's Malik McDowell in the 2017 NFL Draft.

| 6 days ago
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Raiders should look to improve D-line in draft


After the release of Dan Williams and the departure of Stacy McGee, the Raiders will be eyeing defensive tackles in the 2017 NFL Draft.

  • Oakland was last in the NFL in total sacks in 2016, despite having two strong edge rushers in Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack (11 sacks) and OLB Bruce Irvin (seven sacks). The Raiders will need to improve their interior pass rush to make a Super Bowl run in 2017.
  • PFF’s top-ranked interior defensive lineman in the draft is Alabama’s Jonathan Allen, who likely will be gone before the Raiders’ first-round pick. Their best option might be Michigan State DT Malik McDowell, who was tied for fifth in PFF’s 2016 -pass-rushing productivity ranking (30 total QB pressures) and seventh in run-stop percentage (11.2 percent) last season.
  • After McDowell, PFF’s next-highest ranked interior defenders are Florida’s Caleb Brantley, Alabama’s Dalvin Tomlinson and Oklahoma State’s Vincent Taylor. Like McDowell, Brantley also offers a nice combination of pass-rush skill (tied for fifth in pass-rushing productivity) and run-stuffing ability (fifth in run-stop percentage).

Raiders top DTs