The Raiders franchise drafted Arden Key to be a playmaker on the Wire, and it looks like Malcolm Koonce could be the player Key was meant to be.
On April 15, 2021, the Las Vegas Raiders parted ways with third-year rusher Arden Key, who, during his tenure with the team, recorded just three sacks after being drafted in the third round of the Draft. NFL 2018. Key, who often had no difficulty approaching the quarterback, often struggled to finish the game and found himself out of position more times than not including two critical games. in back-to-back seasons that have changed the implications of the organization’s playoffs.
Key, who was released by the Raiders, has talked a lot about his time in Silver and Black, including his recent comments where in a press conference he said “he wasn’t surprised he was cut. and it was “the best thing that could have happened”.
Key had said he wanted out, while not taking responsibility for the fact that he often struggled in the same broken system that many other edge rushers in the defense seemed to make the most of.
Raiders usher in a new era in the pass rush
When the Raiders left Key, it ushered in a new era with Raiders’ defense. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley focused on rebuilding the defensive line and started with the signing of free agent Yannick Ngakoue. As the Raiders focused on bolstering defense through key free agent signings, they also pivoted to speed and strength through the draft and drafted Malcolm Koonce in the third round.
Koonce, who led the Mid American Conference in the sacks in 2019 was recruited to help with the defensive rotation. At 6ft 2in and 249lb, Koonce physically behaves the same as fellow University of Buffalo and Raiders alumni Khalil Mack and has the physical attributes and work ethic to earn reps. important games during the regular season.
Koonce has been heavily involved in the second and third team’s defensive rotations and has held firm while recording five solo tackles and a quarterback in his two preseason games. As Koonce continues to learn and grow in Gus Bradley’s defense, it’s evident that Koonce can become the player Arden Key was drafted for: a passer who can play when his number is called.