With the seventh pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders add a defensive playmaker Tyree Wilson, as they look to upgrade the pass rush.
The pick is in, and the Las Vegas Raiders have selected Tyree Wilson out of Texas Tech with the number seven overall pick. At 6'6 and 270lbs, the Raiders add a pass rusher that very much mirrors current Raiders, Chandler Jones.
The senior finished his college career with 17 career sacks and 32 tackles for loss. And brings a level of size and athleticism that you cannot teach.
But is this what the Raiders needed?
Raiders 2023 NFL Draft: Grade and Fit for Tyree Wilson at No. 7
When you think of the top needs for the Raiders, defensive end probably was not the first position that came to mind. Maxx Crosby obviously holds down one of the two positions, and despite not having a great year, Chandler Jones is still on the roster, making a good chunk of money.
However, Dave Ziegler and the front office clearly see Wilson as a true difference-maker and are willing to address other needs later in the draft. And Wilson, at his size, can play all over the defensive line and create legit mismatches if used properly.
Dane Bugler of The Athletic writes:
""Overall, Wilson plays too upright and needs to become craftier and more strategic in his pass rush, but his length, speed and raw power are outstanding foundational traits. His ascending tools are ripe for development, and he has Pro Bowl potential.""- Dane Bugler
If he hits, it will give the Raiders two elite pass rushers, which would certainly ease the stress that has been placed on the secondary. Even with Crosby, the Raiders still ranked 30th in sack percentage in 2022, so this was still an area of concern.
But if he doesn't learn how to harness his physical tools, he could become more theory than reality. And on top of that, Wilson is coming off a foot injury, which will also be a huge thing to monitor.
I would have preferred going after Oregon's Christian Gonzalez, but you can never be made at a team building up its defensive line as the foundation. And with it being a deep cornerback class, there is still plenty of time to upgrade that position.