The Raiders spent big in free agency and focused on the defense.
They added two, three-down linebackers in Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. They bolstered their interior line with Maliek Collins, a powerful nose tackle who thrives at beating double teams. In comes edge rusher Carl Nassib, replacing Benson Mayowa as a key pass-rushing rotational piece. After the Eli Apple contract fell through, the Raiders signed Damarious Randall, a versatile defensive back who began his career at corner before moving to safety with the Cleveland Browns.
Those additions are expected to pair well with returning youngsters Maxx Crosby, Trayvon Mullen, Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abram to create a defense that should, in theory, be a lot better than the unit that was decimated by injuries, fatigue and an overall lack of talent last season.
To be sure, the Raiders still need help in the secondary and that should come early in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. But for now, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's unit is much better than it was a season ago.
Let's rank the top 20 Raiders defensive players after free agency. I'm sure you'll have issues and concerns with this list, and that's more than fine. Let's debate.