You know what the Raiders could really use right now? A dominant pass rusher. We know that because coach Jon Gruden can't stop talking about it even though, you know, Oakland traded Khalil Mack to the Bears before the season, presumably because the organization didn't think Mack was worth the six-year, $141 million Chicago was happy to give him.
Here's Gruden after the Raiders' Week 1 loss to the Rams:
"When you can run the ball like they ran in the second half, it's very hard to rush the passer," he said at the time. "Obviously, we didn't get to [Jared] Goff enough, and we didn't get to [Todd] Gurley enough. We'll take a good look at the reasons why we didn't."
And here's Gruden after the Raiders' Week 2 loss to the Broncos:
"We gotta do something [about the pass rush], we gotta do something," he said. "We gotta get there. We gotta win some one on ones, maybe call some more blitzes. We gotta figure something out. We will."
And here's Gruden on Wednesday, four days before the Raiders travel to Miami to face the 2-0 Dolphins.
"It's hard to find a great one. It's hard to find a good one. It's hard to find one," he lamented with a straight face. "College football now, they're not really dropping back to pass and throwing footballs anymore. They're throwing laterals and they're throwing bubble screens and they're throwing read options. So you've got to train these guys. It takes a little time to learn how to rush the passer. We've got some guys that are in that process right now."
We're detecting a pattern, one that could have been avoided by the Raiders simply paying Mack what he was worth. As it stands, Oakland has two sacks in two games and according to Football Outsiders' metrics, has a pass rush that ranks 29th. In case you're wondering, the Bears' pass rush ranks second; Mack & Co. sack the quarterback on 14 percent of pass attempts. The Raiders are at 3 percent.
The good news is that the Raiders got two first-round picks in the Mack deal. And in our latest mock draft we have them grabbing two pass rushers in the first seven picks -- Nick Bosa at No. 3 and Brian Burns at No. 7.