The Raiders are meeting with two first-round defensive prospects today in Kentucky's Josh Allen and Clemson's Clelin Ferrell, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday.
Allen, an athletic edge rusher with a bounty of upside, is projected as a top-five selection. If he remains on the board at No. 4 when Oakland picks, the rookie would immediately upgrade a dismal pass-rush that generated a comical 13 sacks in 2018, an NFL low by 17 QB takedowns (two teams with 30).
Ferrell, meanwhile, is projected as a mid-round edge rusher -- the Raiders hold the No. 24 and No. 27 picks -- after compiling 27 sacks over the past three years at Clemson. In a draft deep at defensive line, Ferrell could be a steal if he falls and lands in the right spot.
The Raiders could have doubled their sack total and still been worst in the NFL last season, which underscores the importance of improving the unit. Arden Key developed immensely last year, coming on strong at the end of his rookie campaign. Beyond that, Oakland is mostly bone dry at the position. Pairing Key with Allen or Ferrell would give the Raiders a good edge foundation for years to come.
How about Jon Gruden snagging both next Thursday? There would be worse ways to spend two first-round picks this year.
Other visits we are tracking Tuesday:
- The Washington Redskins continue to do due diligence on QBs. The team is meeting with prolific West Virginia signal-caller Will Grier, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports. Washington is also visiting with Ohio State receiver Parris Campbell.
- The San Francisco 49ers are checking out a couple of receivers: Ole Miss wideout A.J. Brown and South Carolina's Deebo Samuel, per Rapoport.
- According to Rapoport, Miami defensive lineman Gerald Willis will meet with the Arizona Cardinals today.
- The Baltimore Ravens are hosting Texas cornerback Kris Boyd and Penn State guard Connor McGovern on Tuesday, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.
- Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram's seventh and final pre-draft visit will be with the Rams on Tuesday, Pelissero reported, per a source.
- Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford is visiting with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, Pelissero reported, via a source. Pelissero added that this will be Ford's ninth and final visit, and five of those teams are picking from 11-20 in the first round.
- The San Francisco 49ers are hosting Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd, Wyoming tight end Tyree Mayfield and New Mexico State linebacker Terrill Hanks, per Pelissero.
- The Arizona Cardinals are hosting Oregon defensive back Ugo Amadi, Pelissero reported. Amadi won the 2018 Lombardi Award for "performance and leadership honed by character and resiliency."