Much like defensive tackle, this position largely depends on the Oakland Raiders defensive front at the time. Oakland will go with a base 4-3 but also employ more 3-4 looks under first-year defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
In the 4-3 look, Tyler Brayton and free agent acquisition Bobby Hamilton (New England) would be the ends. In the 3-4 setup, it would be Brayton on one side and Warren Sapp, a tackle by trade, at the ends. John Parrella, also a tackle by trade, would fit in as an end as well in the 3-4.
Brayton went through a “baptism by fire” last season as a rookie in switching from right end to left end. Brayton started all 16 games and after struggling early in the season, he showed improvement as it progressed. Brayton might not be All-Pro material but he has the ability and relentlessness to become a solid started.
Hamilton, like Brayton, is a maximum-effort player who should help improve Oakland’s run defense that was lousy last season. Chris Cooper, a fourth-year man, is nothing flashy but is a solid player capable of playing both tackle and end.
Second-year man Akbar Gbaja-Biamila made the team as an undrafted free agent last season and could fit in as a spot pass rusher in the 4-3.