Raiders DT position once again a need going into 2024 offseason

For the third offseason in a row, the Las Vegas Raiders go into it with a need at defensive tackle.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

When it comes to the Las Vegas Raiders 2023 NFL season, you have to like the improvements we saw on the defensive side of the ball. In his second season as defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham took the unit to new heights, as all three levels saw multiple players step up and stand out last season.

Of course, when you think about the Raiders defense, it begins and ends with Maxx Crosby, one of the dominant edge rushers in the NFL. The Raiders have done a nice job adding talent around him in recent years, and one area they have tried to focus on is defensive tackle.

That is why it was shocking when they pass on Jalen Carter with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Carter went on to have a solid rookie season with the Philadelphia Eagles, and had the Raiders drafted him, they would have another cornerstone player along the defensive line.

Instead, the Raiders did not address defensive tackle until the third round, and it appears they have swung and missed on Byron Young from Alabama. Seventh-round defensive tackle Nesta Jade-Silvera did not do much as a rookie either, so while the Raiders used picks on the position, they were obviously the wrong ones.

Raiders will try to revamp at DT again in 2024

There are some key defensive tackles from a year ago entering free agency this offseason, including Jerry Tillery, Bilal Nichols, and Adam Butler. All three had some moments for the Silver and Black in 2024, but when it comes to guys the team should look to bring back, Butler and Nichols would be at the front of the list.

Also, the Raiders moved Tyree Wilson, their 2023 No. 1 pick inside towards the end of the season, and that seemed to turn his rookie campaign around. With Malcolm Koonce becoming a real edge rush threat after Pierce took over as head coach, the Raiders could choose to keep Wilson inside in 2024.

Either way, expect the Raiders to target this position group in both free agency and the NFL Draft, as some mocks have them going with Jer'Zhan Newton from Illinois, or Byron Murphy II from Texas in the first round. Some mocks have T'Vondre Sweat, also from Texas, going to Las Vegas on Day 2, so expect the Raiders to be active in their scouting of this position group in a big way during the NFL Combine.