Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, we knew that the Raiders wanted to improve their interior defensive line. However, it seemed unlikely that the Raiders would be able to grab multiple players at that position who could contribute in 2022.
However, that’s exactly what they did on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. They were able to find not one but two SEC defensive tackles with a ton of college experience. But which one is getting the most praise from the national media?
In a recent article by Dane Brugler of The Athletic, he ranked every team’s draft class from 1-32. The Raiders did not score high (No. 29), but he loved the selection of Neil Farrell on Day 3. Here is what Brugler had to say about that pick at No. 126:
“For a 330-pound nose, Farrell carries his weight surprisingly well with the snap quickness to create an immediate surge off the ball. Everything clicked for him as a senior when he set career-bests in production and snaps played. He should be a rotational nose as a rookie and has the potential to be much more.”
Farrell was drafted ahead of Matthew Butler, who most had significantly higher on their draft boards. But they should be able to play together as Farrell is the better run-stopper, while Butler is more of a pure pass-rusher.
With Johnathan Hankins now in his 30s and only on a one-year deal, it’s fair to think that Farrell could take over that spot in 2023. He did grade out as one of PFF’s top run defenders in the class, so we know that he should be able to do that job well in the NFL.
Look for both Farrell and Butler to have significant roles with the Raiders early during the 2022 season.
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