Raiders Opposing DTs No. 2: DeForest Buckner
The NFL preseason amazingly is getting closer and closer, and with that, fans of all NFL teams can start looking at the match-ups their teams will face this season.
The Las Vegas Raiders are no exception, as they will have a number of marquee games when looking at the 2021 schedule.
After going through the best offensive players the Raiders will see this season, we now turn to the defensive side of the ball.
At No. 2, Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner has risen to elite status.
He's shown continuous improvement since entering the league as the seventh overall pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.
Buckner set a still career-high with 73 total tackles that year and has had no fewer than 58 in any season since.
He's also been a highly disruptive pass rusher, with a career-high 12 in 2018, good enough for him to make his first Pro Bowl that year.
Buckner would reach First-Team All-Pro status last season with the Colts after the 49ers traded him during the offseason.
He finished with 9.5 sacks and a career-high 26 quarterback hits and was Pro Football Focus's fifth-best interior defender last season.
It was the highest-ranking of his career, fitting that it came after Buckner signed his first big contract after he was traded to the Colts.
He didn't put up huge numbers when the Colts played the Raiders last season, finishing with four tackles.
Buckner, though, demands attention every snap for the match-up problems he creates, and his impact goes well beyond just sacks.
It'll be a big key when the Raiders face the Colts again this season, a match-up that could determine one of the playoff spots in the AFC.
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