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
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Similar to the findings in the offensive statistical analysis, homegrown players produced more than acquired players, plain and simple. As the smaller numerical group on the team, it is a bit of a shock once again that the homegrown players accounted for so much of the production in 2023, outperforming acquired players in two-thirds of the categories.

To be fair, most of a team’s makeup is likely going to be free agents unless they bat 1.000 in the draft, so the Raider’s roster is not uncommon in this way. Each team only gets roughly 7 picks a year, and this year the Raiders chose 8 players, totaling 38 draftees in the five years prior to last season. Obviously, not each player panned out, but even if they did, there would still be at least 15 more spots up for grabs for free agents or trade targets. 

Luckily for the Raiders, based on these past two articles, most of their talented players are coming from the draft. This means that our scouting department is doing their job, and our coaches are succeeding in developing young players. If we can continue to get players on cheap draft contracts that are contributing to our team and we can supplement them with big-name, established free agents, then I have faith in the future of the Raiders!

Just Win Baby.