Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli joined Jon Gruden’s coaching staff this offseason after occupying the same post in Dallas.
He’s bringing one of his linemen with him.
Former Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins agreed on terms of a two-year contract with the Raiders, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday afternoon, adding some interior pass-rush ability to the Silver and Black’s defensive front.
Collins has 14.5 sacks in four professional seasons, though his last season was his best rushing the passer. The 24-year old had four sacks and 36 total quarterback pressures in 2019. He plays more on passing downs but can hold his own against the run, with 763 defensive snaps last year.
Marinelli obviously vouched for Collins, who has strong upside and is just entering his prime as a three technique. The Raiders need help at that spot, and the Collins addition takes pressure off finding some early in the NFL draft next month.
Collins is the latest in a series of strong defensive signings by Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock during free agency’s early stages.
As a reminder, Collins and all other free agent commitments are not allowed to travel to NFL team facilities to take physicals and sign contracts due to the coronavirus pandemic. Players can take a physical at a neutral site if team and player agrees. If not, the deal could take some time to become official.
Collins is one of three former Cowboys to join the Raiders on Tuesday in an flurry of activity, including tight end Jason Witten and safety Jeff Heath.
He also continues a trend of adding good, young defensive players. In fact, the Raiders have signed three who are 26 or younger, and Heath is 28.