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Raiders GM Mike Mayock says team focused on defensive ends ahead of draft

The Oakland Raiders need help in a lot of areas following a miserable 4-12 campaign, but one area their defense may be their biggest issue.

The Raiders ranked just 26th in the league in yards allowed in 2018 and were dead last in scoring defense, so, obviously, that side of the ball could use some work.

New general manager Mike Mayock knows that all too well, which is why he says the team will be focused on defense—primarily edge rushers—ahead of the draft in late April:

“Are we focused in on defensive ends at [the Senior Bowl]? Of course,” said Mayock, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “We’d be dumb if we weren’t. But we need pretty much everything on defense. We’re looking at every position.”

Opposing quarterbacks had all day to throw against Oakland this past season, as the Raiders finished with a meager 13 sacks as a team, worst in the NFL. For some perspective as to just how bad Oakland was at getting to the quarterback, the New England Patriots and New York Giants were tied for second-to-last in sacks with 30.

Of course, a gaping hole was left in the Raiders’ pass-rushing game when they traded linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for a couple of first-round draft picks before the season started, but Oakland is obviously hoping to get some of that talent back as it rebuilds.

The Raiders have made the playoffs just once since appearing in the Super Bowl during the 2002-03 campaign.