Mark Davis and his Oakland Raiders are trying to win at least one more Super Bowl while in Oakland. And to do that, they need to get better on defense to go along with their explosive offense. After not doing much in free agency, they did a good job of improving their defense in the draft.
They picked CB Gareon Conley in the first round and SS Obi Melifonwu in the second round. They will be a big help to a secondary that gave up the most pass plays over 20 yards in the NFL in 2016. In the third round, they got an absolute steal DL Eddie Vanderdoes to help with their interior pass rush.
He and a healthy Mario Edwards Jr. will help Slash Bros Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin rush the passer. Those were good picks at positions of need but that isn’t all they need for that defense. The ILB position is also a major need going into this offseason and that didn’t address that until the fifth round.
Marquel has a chance to be a solid player this year but we don’t know exactly how he will be. The Raiders have been willing to wait until training camp to see what they have but that can’t anymore. That’s because former Baltimore Ravens ILB Zachary Orr is making a comeback, after initially retiring because of a neck injury.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported that Orr recently got doctor’s opinion indicating he can play. He was the Ravens leading tackler and No. 4 in the NFL in run stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus last year. He’s also not too bad in coverage with five passes defensed and three interceptions.
So they have to at least bring Orr in for a look because if healthy, he can help the Raiders. Plus he’s an unrestricted free agent right now that shouldn’t cost too much due to his medical history. The Raiders actually have a chance to unseat the 2016 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in 2017.
And a solid ILB gives them a better chance!
Just win, baby!