Raiders Pass Rush: Pro Football Focus Grades From Best To Worst

After finishing dead last in the NFL in sacks (25) a year ago, all eyes are on the Raiders pass rush in 2017.

Through two games, Pro Football Focus has graded every Raider pass rusher on every play. The process obviously isn’t an exact science and the sample size small, but the results are intriguing nonetheless.

From worst to first, here’s who has been getting after the quarterback and who hasn’t. Each player’s PFF pass rush grade (not an overall grade) is next to their name.

8 – Bruce Irvin (42.1) – Irvin is off to a slow start. He is rushing the quarterback on 86% percent of his snaps and has only 3 quarterback pressures. Right now he’s only getting near the quarterback on 5% of his pass rushes.

7 – Jihad Ward (45.8) – Ward barely deserves to have a grade as he’s only rushed the quarterback 16 times in two games. For what it’s worth, he has been barely better against the run (51.5).

6 – Treyvon Hester (49.2) – Hester has rushed the quarterback 30 times and come away with only one quarterback pressure.

5 – Denico Autry (68.7) – Autry has rushed the quarterback on 40 snaps and has pressured the quarterback 5 times. He also has a sack (officially 0.5 sack).

4 – Mario Edwards Jr. (72.3) – Edwards has only pressured the quarterback on 4 of his 31 pass rushes, but two of those pressured ended up in sacks. When he gets to the quarterback, he makes the most of it.

3 – Justin Ellis (73.2) – Here’s a surprise. The Raiders 335-pound run stuffer can get after the quarterback too. It’s a much smaller sample size than his peers, but Ellis has pressured the quarterback on 3 of his 12 pass rushes – the best percentage of anyone on the Oakland defensive front.

2 – Eddie Vanderdoes (80.4) – The Raiders third-round pick has rushed the quarterback 33 times and applied pressure 5 times – an impressive stat for an interior lineman, not to mention he’s a rookie.

1 – Khalil Mack (88.2) – Mack is going to own the top spot on this list for a long time. The Raiders All-Pro edge rusher has one sack and has pressured the quarterback 8 times despite facing frequent double and triple teams.

Again, the data used to create these scores comes from a very small sample size (2 games), but they’re hardly meaningless and always interesting.

It’s worth noting, the Raiders have had real success blitzing second-year safety Karl Joseph. Linebackers Cory James and Nicholas Morrow have also combined for 3 pressures on 11 pass rushes.

As the pass rush is concerned, the Raiders biggest improvement from a year ago has been the defensive interior. They are finally getting a serviceable pass rush up the middle.

No doubt, Joseph has also been a pleasant surprise.

Now the question is, can Ken Norton Jr.’s group continue their trend in the right direction?

twitter: @raidersbeat


4 thoughts on “Raiders Pass Rush: Pro Football Focus Grades From Best To Worst

  1. I think Vanderdoes will be a bigger factor down the stretch. He is getting pressure with the Bull rush and spin move and he will only get better with time. Only one nation RNFL

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