Six games into the 2019 NFL season and the expected has become a reality: The Raiders need some help with their pass rush.
After struggling to get to the quarterback a season ago, the Raiders drafted three edge rushers in the 2019 NFL Draft, hoping one or two of the young bucks would give them a jolt up front. So far, No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell hasn't lived up to his status, while seventh-round draft pick Quinton Bell, who was expected to be a project, has been released. Fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby has been solid, but the Raiders have only sacked the quarterback 10 times, good for 27th in the NFL.
The Silver and Black enter Week 8 at 3-3 with one game remaining on their five-game road trip. The Raiders sit in an advantageous position in the AFC West. With Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes expected to miss a few weeks with a dislocated kneecap and with the Chargers almost dead and buried at 2-5, the Raiders have the opportunity to make a move in the division, but they'll need to fix their pass rush in order to do so.
The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching, but the Raiders likely don't want to surrender draft picks in order to obtain a short-term fix to their pass rush issues.
But there could be another option.
Dion Jordan, who was taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, currently is serving a 10-game suspension for taking Adderall has been training and will be eligible to be signed in a couple weeks.
Former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan is eligible to return from suspension in a few weeks, and @tareqazim tells me a bunch of NFL teams have been calling. Jordan weighs 273 with 8% body fat, feels good mentally and physically ... and looks like this. 👀 pic.twitter.com/IV1ORTVd7s— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 22, 2019
Jordan takes Adderall for his ADHD, but his NFL waiver to take the drug had expired and his appeal was denied by the league.
The Oregon product never lived up to his billing as a No. 3 overall pick, but he has more talent than any other option the Raiders might pursue on the trade market.
After being drafted by the Dolphins in 2013, Jordan was suspended for six games in 2014 for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, and was banned for the entire 2015 season for the same reason. He missed the 2016 campaign with a knee injury before being picked up by the Seahawks prior to the 2017 season.
Jordan could be a low-risk option for head coach Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock for the back half of the season. At 29, Jordan still has all the physical tools to be an effective pass rusher, it's just a matter of him putting everything together, getting out of his own way and staying healthy.
If he flounders, the Raiders can cut him and be no worse for the wear. But if he realizes even a portion of the promise he was expected to have, the Raiders' D-line will get a huge boost.
If Jordan doesn't appeal to the Raiders, they could look for a buy-low option on the trade market such as Vic Beasley. The Falcons are shopping the former All-Pro but the market has been "weak," The Athletic's Jeff Schultz reported.
Beasley led the NFL with 15 1/2 sacks in 2016, but he has struggled since then, notching just 11 1/2 sacks in 37 games. With the Falcons dead at 1-6, Oakland would be wise to see if it can steal Beasley for cheap and see if the 27-year-old can find his Pro-Bowl form from a few years ago.
Their names might not light up fans' eyes, but both Jordan and Beasley have the talent to resuscitate a Raiders pass rush that has struggled since the Khalil Mack trade.