Raiders Pushed to Sign Pro Bowl Defender Who Wanted to Get Drafted by LV

Raiders Pushed to Sign Pro Bowl Defender Who Wanted to Get Drafted by LV

The Las Vegas Raiders defense had a strong season in 2023 and finished with the ninth-best scoring defense in the league (19.5 points per game). However, there are still a few pieces the group needs to become of the upper echelon defenses consistently.

Finding a pass rushing defensive tackle is something the team has needed for years but hasn’t been able to address it properly. Marcus Mosher of The 33rd Team believes the Raiders should add Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

“The Las Vegas Raiders have had a problem with defensive tackle for the last several years, and there won’t be a great option for them in Round 1, either,” Mosher wrote in a February 24 column.

“Leonard Williams is a veteran defensive tackle who can play up and down the defensive line. He is getting older, but he would still be a massive upgrade for Las Vegas.”

The former Pro Bowler can play defensive end or defensive tackle but the Raiders would likely want him inside. Williams played under defensive coordinator Patrick Graham while they were both with the New York Giants in 2020 and 2021 so he’d quickly be able to pick up the system. Williams’ best season when he had a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2020 came under Graham. The Raiders could be the perfect fit for the veteran defensive lineman.

Leonard Williams Wanted to Be Drafted by Las Vegas Raiders

Leonard Williams joining the Raiders could be a long time coming. The Southern California native grew up a fan of the franchise and even went so far as to express an interest in getting drafted by the team.

“The Raiders have kind of been like my favorite, hometown team. I love their colors, I love their tradition, I love their defense,” Williams said back in 2015 at the NFL Scouting Combine, via “I want to go as high as possible and shooting for that number one spot. But if I did end up dropping to the Raiders, I would love to play for them.”

The Raiders could’ve drafted Williams with the No. 4 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft but they decided to draft wide receiver Amari Cooper instead. Nearly a decade later, the team will have a chance to add Williams in free agency.

USC DL Leonard Williams on the Raiders – “I love their colors; I love their tradition.”

Las Vegas Raiders Need to Re-Sign Adam Butler

One of the biggest surprises for the Raiders last season was defensive tackle Adam Butler. He was brought in on a one-year contract in free agency and wasn’t expected to have a big role. However, he came on strong. Despite not starting a single game in 2023, Butler had the third most sacks on the team with 5.0.

Butler is already 29 so he doesn’t have a ton of upside but he’s clearly a strong fit in Patrick Graham’s defense. He’ll be a free agent this offseason and could’ve played himself into a nice contract. The Raiders would be wise to bring him back. He has value as a pass rushing defensive tackle and shouldn’t break the bank. Las Vegas’ defensive line outplayed expectations last season and much of that was due to the play of the veteran defensive tackles. Keeping Butler would help keep a level of continuity.


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