• The Raiders will scout a talented defensive player in DeAngelo Malone
  • The former Hilltopper has proven to defy the odds
  • Malone is likely to be selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft

The Las Vegas Raiders continue to improve their defensive side, and two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year DeAngelo Malone could play an integral piece.

The outside linebacker is said to be on the Raiders’ radar, and the 22-year-old player tackling machine is a high-impact player who could blend in well with the team’s renovating defense.

Malone has proven to be a defensive demon, proving that for the past four seasons with the Hilltoppers.

He is best suited as an outside linebacker but in an odd front mainly because of his size and quickness.

However, his outstanding effort and understanding of play diagnosis make him an interesting prospect.

The only concern for Malone is his size although he has proven he could get through that in college.

In his senior season with Western Kentucky, Malone started in all 14 games and racked up 94 total tackles (44 solos), including a team-high 17.5 tackles for losses, nine sacks, and four forced fumbles.

The 94 total tackles that Malone racked up led FBS defensive linemen, the second time he had done so in the last three seasons.

In addition, he holds the WKU career record for sacks with 34.

“Malone's wiry build belies his toughness and play strength at the point of attack. He uses quick feet, a flexible frame, and unusually successful recovery balance to slink into playmaking positions in the run game. His rush is unorthodox and unpredictable but his burst to close and fluidity inside the pocket are valuable in finishing against mobile quarterbacks. His slender frame will get knocked and he needs to craft a more repeatable rush, but he is competitive and savvy,” NFL Network analyst Lance Zierlein noted.

Although questions are in the air about his strength and pass-rushing ability, the 6-foot-4 player has shown he can defy the odds.

Malone showed this in the Senior Bowl, a reason why he was named the Senior Bowl American Player of the Game.

At the NFL Draft Combine, Malone made a good account of himself by running a 4.58 40-yard dash.

He is projected to be a fourth-rounder in this year’s draft, possibly the Raiders’ second selection.

Malone could also be an immediate contributor as a rotational player on defense.

The 2022 NFL Draft will take place on April 28 in Las Vegas with the Raiders' first pick coming in the third round at No. 86.

Deangelo Malone #DL35 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Deangelo Malone #DL35 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Getty Images | Michael Hickey