Getty Tommy Togiai, Browns tackle, is now the subject of Raiders rumors.
Undoubtedly there is a change in the approach and results we have seen in Las Vegas over the last two weeks, with wins over the Giants followed by a win over the Jets. But there’s also no doubt that the Raiders will need to tighten their ship even more given the tougher schedule ahead if they want to make the playoffs – and so the Raiders rumor mill continues to churn even after the team’s recent moves.
And one area that could use some attention is the continued development of young players under Antonio Pierce, who has spent much of his post-playing career with young players, first as a high school coach in Long Beach, Calif., then in college -Coach at Arizona State.
With that in mind, the Bleacher Report staff has an ideal player for Pierce and the Raiders to bring in and coach: nose tackle Tommy Togiai, currently on the Browns’ practice squad. As a 24-year-old 2021 fourth-round pick, Togiai has the type of upside that should interest the Raiders.
Raiders Rumors: Tommy Togiai May Be Developed
Togiai has talent, and when he came out of Ohio State three years ago he was ranked as the No. 4 defensive lineman on the board and the second lineman in athleticism. Like so many Buckeyes linemen, he is known for his strength-building abilities, and his pre-draft bio on NFL.com states that he has “thick, muscular arms.”
But he disappointed in two seasons with the Browns, playing in 12 games last year with a total of 220 snaps, or 30% of Cleveland’s total defensive snaps. He had a good training camp but was still released on release day that summer. The Jaguars picked him up, but when Jacksonville also waived him, Togiai re-signed to the Browns’ practice squad.
“Togiai is on the Browns’ practice squad and was undrafted after playing 12 games for them last season. “He would be worth adding to the active roster to see what he and (rookie) Nesta Jade Silvera could do inside,” the B/R staff report said.
Raiders face DL free agent exodus in 2024
The Raiders have two potential issues with their defensive front this season. First, they haven’t played consistently well, although that has changed since Josh McDaniels was fired and Pierce took over. The pass rush was good, with an overall grade of 77.7 from Pro Football Focus. This is the eighth in the NFL. The rush defense has also improved, but ranks 12th with a PFF grade of 68.5.
The other problem that the rumored Raiders have for a possible D-line addition is that they are loaded with free agents. Three of the four players in the Raiders’ interior rotation will need new contracts next year. It’s up to the team to develop some of their own.
“The team needs to look to 2024,” B/R wrote. “Pierce is a coach for his job, but he would do well to show that he can develop some of the younger talent on the team. That could be really important at defensive tackle, where Bilal Nichols, John Jenkins and Adam Butler are all poised to hit free agency.”
Sean Deveney is a veteran sports reporter who covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has been writing for Heavy since 2019 and has more than two decades of NBA reporting experience, including 17 years as a senior NBA reporter for the Sporting News. Deveney is the author of seven nonfiction books, including “Fun City,” “Before Wrigley Were Wrigley,” and “Facing Michael Jordan.” More about Sean Deveney
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