Las Vegas Raiders fans had to feel good after their favorite team snuck into the NFL Playoffs last season and almost got by the Cincinnati Bengals. The only problem is that success from 2021 built high expectations for 2022. Expectations the Raiders have been unable to meet with a 2-5 record.
The postseason is still months away, meaning Las Vegas has time to get back into the race by stringing together a couple of wins. Improving at the NFL trade deadline is another way to get the fans to buy back in to the future. Here's a look at three trade targets who could save the Raiders' season.
Las Vegas Raiders Trade Targets
1. Roquan Smith, LB
It's not hard to tell that the Raiders lack playmakers on defense capable of going sideline to sideline to make a tackle. Denzel Perryman is the team's top linebacker, but he has been in and out of the starting lineup with head and ankle issues. Adding someone like Roquan Smith would transform this defense. Smith leads the NFL in tackles (83) and has also logged 2.5 sacks, 3 pass breakups and 2 interceptions over eight games. Of course, acquiring fifth-year pro wouldn't be cheap. Smith is on the final year of his current contract and would value commitment from the Raiders more than anything else. Agreeing to sign the 25-year-old to a long-term deal may be a worthy avenue to pursue, though.
2. Jack Conklin, OL
Reports claim the Raiders have been getting calls about the availability of safety Johnathan Abram. One logical landing spot is in Cleveland and it just so happens that the Browns are stacked with offensive line depth. Jack Conklin is the name that sticks out here due to the fact that he given up 0 sacks and drawn only 1 penalty over 332 offensive snaps in 2022. Las Vegas does not know is Thayer Munford is the answer at RT or not and adding Conklin to the mix would give them an option to switch gears. He could be someone the Raiders end up re-signing during the offseason to mentor an otherwise unproven group of linemen.
3. Daron Payne, DT
If you had to trace Las Vegas' struggles to one specific aspect of the game, it would be rushing the quarterback. The Raiders rank dead last in the NFL with 9.0 sacks on the season and 6.0 of those sacks have come from Maxx Crosby alone. 1.0 sack from cornerback Nate Hobbs and 1.0 sack from linebacker Denzel Perryman show that this defensive line is not getting the job done. Clelin Ferrell and Bilal Nichols can stop the run, but that is it. Daron Payne is someone capable of making life tough for opposing QBs. He has logged 4.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits across eight games. Payne is responsible for causing a safety, too, and has posted 3 pass breakups. The Raiders should do whatever it takes to bring him to Las Vegas.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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