Despite the need for a defensive tackle, and with Jalen Carter still on the board in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders decided to select Tyree Wilson at No. 7 overall. The former Texas Tech edge rusher went into draft season as one of the top players at his position, but the pick was a bit shocking considering the other needs the Raiders had at the time.
Through the first 12 weeks of the 2023 NFL season, Wilson looked lost at times, and some were even calling him a bust. However, Wilson was battling back from an injury this season, and it was going to take him some time to get used to the pro game in Year 1.
Week 14 may have been the coming out party for Wilson, as he looked dominant coming off the edge, and put together his best game as a pro. Wilson was all over the field, pairing nicely with Maxx Crosby in a defensive effort for the ages for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Raiders need Wilson to continue to grow in Year 1
So where do we go from here when it comes to Wilson? The defensive end certainly has the skill set and size to be a terrorizing pass rush coming off the edge, but he seemed a bit slow off the block early on in his rookie season.
After the effort on Sunday, it is clear why the Raiders decided to get him to help out Maxx Crosby in the pass rush, and there should be way more of that to come going forward. The Raiders defense has taken a big step forward this season on all three levels, but the growth of Wilson will be paramount if this unit is going to be a feared on in the NFL for years to come.
The Raiders have struggled to add talent on Day 1 in recent drafts, but for at least one week, it looked like the team got it right with Wilson