Josh McDaniels is making quick work at assembling his staff with the Las Vegas Raiders, and he has now hauled in a big piece to that puzzle. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports that the club is hiring Patrick Graham to be its next defensive coordinator.
Graham spent the past two seasons with the New York Giants, where he served as their DC. New York had just hired Brian Daboll to be its next head coach following the firing of Joe Judge but was set to welcome Graham back under Daboll. Instead, he'll be heading to Las Vegas to join McDaniels' staff in the same role. Graham will be replacing Gus Bradley, who has been hired as the Colts defensive coordinator.
Graham is looked at as one of the up-and-coming head coaching prospects in the NFL, so this is quite the get for the Raiders. The 43-year-old interviewed for the Giants head coaching position before the club hired Daboll and was a finalist for the Minnesota Vikings head coaching job this offseason. Graham also garnered interest from the Pittsburgh Steelers as a possible DC replacement for the retired Keith Butler.
While the Giants didn't have overall success during Graham's tenure, the defense was a bright spot, ranking 18th in the league in DVOA in 2021.
Graham's coaching career in the NFL started in 2009 when he was a coaching assistant with the New England Patriots. He worked in Foxborough from 2009 to 2015 and ascended to linebackers coach over the final two years of his tenure. Of course, it's also worth noting that time with the Patriots given there were four seasons of overlap between him and McDaniels, so the two have some familiarity. From there, Graham bounced around the league and officially became a DC in 2019 with the Miami Dolphins before joining the Giants staff in 2020.