How the 2023 Raiders’ Defense Was Built and What It Means for 2024

Was it our draft picks and undrafted free agent choices that carried the load? Or was it our free agent signings and trade prospects that contributed more? Soon we will see what made our defense go: homegrown talent or acquisitions.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
2 of 4

The 2023 Raiders

In the same fashion as my Last Article, I will be calculating what percentage of players on the Raiders' defense joined the team through the draft process or through acquisitions. By measuring their relative contributions through a variety of important statistics, I will be able to determine which group of players had a larger impact for Las Vegas, not only by category but overall. Then, by looking at the makeup of this year’s team, I can make informed predictions about the success of the defense in 2024.

In 2023, the Raiders played 33 players on defense and 3 exclusively on special teams. Of the defensive players, 14 (42.4%) of them were homegrown talent and 19 (57.6%) of them came from acquisitions. Notable draftees include Maxx Crosby, Tre’von Moehrig and Divine Deablo, whereas acquisitions include Jack Jones, Adam Butler, and Robert Spillane. As far as special teams, 1 of the players was homegrown (P A.J. Cole) whereas the other two (K Daniel Carlson and LS Jacob Bobenmoyer) were acquired in free agency. 

Of the 19 categories I chose to analyze at the beginning of this journey, 9 of them fall under the defense or special teams umbrella. Once again, none of these stats are exactly equal, because a defensive touchdown matters more than a solo tackle, and an interception is better than a pass deflected. The goal of the study was not to be an exact science of how the team should be constructed, but rather, a general indication of how our team’s success came to be.

67 players stepped on the field last year for the Silver & Black, and only 29 (43.3%) of them were homegrown players compared to the 38 (56.7%) that were acquired. However, homegrown players were responsible for more production in 6 of the 9 defensive and special teams categories.