The NFL offseason is in full swing and the Oakland Raiders are assessing all options. With a slew of new players coming in, things are going to be changing quite a lot for the team.
One of those changes will be the return of defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, who tore his ACL at the end of his rookie season in 2017 and missed all of 2018.
Vanderdoes is now healthy for the first time in nearly two years though and looking to reclaim his starting spot on the defensive line. Head coach Jon Gruden is among the people that have taken notice to how good Vanderdoes how looked this offseason, via Matt Schneidman of The Mercury News:
Jon Gruden said one of the guys he’s most excited to see this offseason is Eddie Vanderdoes.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) May 21, 2019
Vaderdoes was selected by the Raiders in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent four years at UCLA where he put up a total of 122 tackles.
He had a mediocre season in his rookie year, putting up only 18 total tackles. Hopefully this year things will turn around for him and the Raiders.
Sitting out his second year in the league creates a weird spot for Vanderdoes. He did not get any on field experience outside of his rookie year and will be heading into the third year of his four year contract, one season short. If he can impress the way Gruden expects him to, he can hopefully earn a solid contract down the line.
The Raiders are certainly hoping that Vanderdoes can be a standout player after a poor defensive showing last season. The team ranked 23rd in total tackles and last in sacks with just 13.
While Vanderdoes might help alleviate some problems on defense, he cannot answer all of them. With players like Lamarcus Joyner, Vontaze Burfict, and No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell all joining the team, the overall defense should improve.