The Las Vegas Raiders released veteran linebacker Tahir Whitehead on Monday in a move that many in Raider Nation saw coming. Whitehead’s release gives the team more cap space, but also makes an already terrible position group that much worse, so expect the team to target a linebacker in the first round.
Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma is one of the better linebackers in this draft class, and many believe that he will be the first one off the board. He fits what the Las Vegas Raiders do perfectly, as he has the ability to play inside, or out, and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther needs more talent at the position group.
The Raiders are a few pieces away from being a legitimate playoff contender, but they are not going to do anything in their division if they do not shore up the defense. Murray helps them get better at linebacker, but even with him in the fold, that position group as a whole has a lot of work left to do.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, like the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders, will have multiple first round picks this April. The No. 20 overall selection comes from the Los Angeles Rams, who the team traded Jalen Ramsey to during the 2019 regular season. With the pick, they continue to add to the defense.
With Ramsey and A.J. Bouye gone, they need help at cornerback, which they take care of with the No. 9 overall pick. Here, they add to their defensive line, bringing in one of the better edge rushers in the draft class by adding K’Lavon Chaisson, a key member of LSU’s national title-winning defense last season.
Chaisson would fill the void left by the team letting Calais Campbell or Yannick Ngakoue leave this offseason. Ngakoue wants a long-term deal, but not with the Jaguars, and Campbell has been rumored to be on the trading block as well. Either way, Chaisson will be needed in 2020.