What is Las Vegas Raiders biggest strength going into 2024 NFL Season?

The Las Vegas Raiders‘ roster has improved from last year, but what is the team’s biggest strength heading into the 2024 NFL season?

Though wide receiver would be a common answer, Pro Football Focus’ Jim Wyman and Dalton Wasserman believe that Las Vegas’ defensive line will wreak havoc this season.

The unit, led by pro bowler Maxx Crosby, generated 46 sacks and allowed 4.2 yards per carry in 2023. The ascension of edge rusher Malcolm Koonce was a welcomed sight, as the 25-year-old totaled eight sacks and 52 QB pressures.

With the addition of Christian Wilkins and the returning pieces, Wyman and Wasserman believe the Raiders’ defensive front could be lethal. Here is what the pair had to say about the Silver and Black’s defensive line: 

Maxx Crosby finally has help along the defensive line. Not only did Malcolm Koonce quietly have a strong third season in the league, but the team signed Christian Wilkins away from the Dolphins in the offseason to bolster the defensive front.

Also featuring on the interior defensive line are John Jenkins and Adam Butler, who both bring plenty of veteran experience. A potential wild card along this defensive line is 2023 first-round pick Tyree Wilson. Wilson had a rough go his rookie year, but if he can have the breakout second season this team is hoping for, then this defensive line could be among the most dangerous in the league.

The Raiders’ defensive line will be the driving force of the team’s defense in 2024. Crosby has established himself as a superstar, posting 27 sacks and 175 QB pressures over the past two seasons. Crosby also has a talented running mate opposite him in Koonce, who we discussed earlier.

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On the interior, the acquisition of Christian Wilkins gives Patrick Graham’s defense a talented run-stuffer with terrific pass-rushing ability. The 28-year-old had nine sacks and 58 QB pressures in 2023, along with a 71.5 run-defense grade.

While he hasn’t had the most pleasant start to his career, Tyree Wilson could also develop into a difference-maker on the defensive line.

Antonio Pierce will need his defensive line to take the next step in 2024. Las Vegas still has questions in the secondary, so a stout pass rush and forceful run defense will neutralize the weaknesses on the back end.


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