The Oakland Raiders needed to improve in a lot of areas this offseason but none as much as along the defensive line. The Raiders had big time trouble in 2013 bringing any pressure on the quarterback with their front four. They were stout against the run at times, but could also get pushed around late in games. What’s worse, when free agency hit the Raiders lost Lamarr Houston who was easily the best player on a fairly bad defensive line.
So when the Raiders began bringing in free agents in an attempt to upgrade the team, it is no wonder that general manager Reggie McKenzie focused a lot of his attention on the defensive line. He added Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith and CJ Watson while also re-signing Pat Sims. This represents an upgrade at every starting position on the defensive line with the exception of the defensive tackle position played by Sims.
According to Chris Wesseling of nfl.com, the Raiders defensive line represents the most upgraded personnel unit in the entire AFC West this offseason. Wesseling notes the fact that the Raiders brought a lot of pass rushing talent in and players who are versatile. He also notes that the Raiders are still missing a young nucleus to build around on the defensive line, but that McKenzie has done enough to make the team competitive this year.