Raiders news: Why the defense can be better than expected in 2023

The Las Vegas Raiders added a bunch of talent to the defensive side of the ball, and the unit could be better than expected in 2023.
Las Vegas Raiders Introduce Free Agent Signings
Las Vegas Raiders Introduce Free Agent Signings / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Raiders keyed on the defensive line in free agency and the NFL Draft

In order to compete in the AFC, the Raiders have to get better push up front, and cannot rely on just Maxx Crosby in 2023. To combat this issue, the Silver and Black added some talent to the defensive tackle spot, bringing back Jerry Tillery and Kyle Peko in free agency, while also adding John Jenkins to the mix.

During the 2023 NFL Draft, Las Vegas utilized a third round pick on Byron Young, and while he is starting the summer on the injured list, he is a talented young player who is strong against the run. The Raiders will also return Bilal Nichols in 2023, as well as two second-year players, Matthew Butler and Neil Farrell Jr. who will have some bigger expectations placed on them.

We all know Crosby is as elite an edge rusher as their is in the NFL, but without much help, he is often subject to holding and double-teams. In 2023, the hope is that a slimmer Chandler Jones can rekindle some of the magic that made him an All-Pro in the past, and once Tyree Wilson gets healthy, he will prove to be a top-10 pick.

Overall, the defensive line should be a tougher unit than it was in 2022.