What the Tommy Kelly signing means

I think it is a lot, but the guy was our very best defensive lineman until he got hurt.

Kelly was playing out of position at DT before he moved to DE. He played along side of Sapp at DT where he wasn’t able to use his speed.

With Sapp’s departure he will play the 3-technique. Kelly should be able to dominate at the 3-technique position.

Think about this, he was constantly a force against the opposing team’s very best lineman last year (the LT). How much better will he do against a RG? I’d say he would maul a RG.

From Football 101:

“If you want to be especially good at rushing the passer you’ll find four relatively athletic, perhaps somewhat smaller defensive linemen and line them up in a 1 gap scheme. Now you will have at least three gaps unprotected, so it’s important in this scheme that you have three very solid linebackers who can cover these gaps.”

Sounds like our scheme and personnel to a tee. We are a team that wants a pass rush from our front 4, that is the system we play. We could get a bunch of beef, but with no pass rush teams would pick apart our secondary even if it is strong.

With Kelly likely moving to DT, like I hypothesized might be the case, we already are making a statement about not drafting a DT. Like it or not. Warren, Sands, Kelly is not only a lot of guys wanting playing time, but a lot of money. I think combined next season they will make around $17 million. if we added a top 5 pick’s salary to that, we would be looking at around 20% of our cap going to DT. I suppose we could cut Warren, but that would mean we gave away a draft pick to our arch rivals.

This is a strong sign we are not going to draft a DT.

DE comes into play with only Burgess and Richardson currently signed. Chris Long and Vernon Gholston become more possible and of course McFadden supporters will be able to claim the Raiders have made moves against drafting a DT just as much if not more than they have made a statement about not drafting a RB.

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