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Raiders Add To Defensive Line With First Pick In the 2023 NFL Draft

Who would the Las Vegas Raiders draft with the seventh pick in the 2023 NFL Draft? was the question that many people wanted to know. Would the Raiders take a quarterback, offensive line, defensive lineman, cornerback, or trade up or down?

On Thursday night, we got our answer; Las Vegas took Tyree Wilson, a defensive lineman from Texas Tech. Wilson originally went to Texas A&M, where he played one season, before spending the next three years at Texas Tech.



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Wilson compiled 121 tackles with the Red Raiders, 32 tackles for a loss, and 17 sacks in 35 games. With an impressive wingspan, he could be an excellent addition to the Raiders defensive line.

Wilson Strengths

Wilson is a solid athlete with an excellent motor to chase down plays from the backside. In addition, his massive wingspan allows Wilson to make tackles out of nowhere and shed off offensive linemen.

“I would say my biggest strength is being versatile, being able to play wherever they need me to play,” Wilson said. There are other things that I need to work on, like locking out all the time and playing with pad leverage, and just being more technical sound. Coming from college and going to the NFL is the biggest thing you have to work on.”

Improvements

At the NFL level, he must improve on his run-game instincts, and with his height of 6’6, he will need to work on his leverage. Sometimes Wilson tends to play too high. In addition, the defensive line is less explosive and bendy than other edge rushers.

Wilson will be coming off a foot injury that cut his 2022 season short. But Wilson told Raiders reporters, that he would be ready for training camp.

“Yes, I expect to be ready by training camp,” Wilson added. “It’s up to the staff at the Raiders to see what percent I am. I feel great, and I’m trying to be as best as possible on the field.

Outlook

Drafting Wilson was a solid pick for the Raiders. While he may not be as explosive as other edge rushers, he is a physical player, and learning for Raiders edge rushers Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones should help Wilson a lot going forward. Wilson will develop into an outstanding player if he is willing to listen to Jones and Crosby.

“I’ve watched Maxx [Crosby], Wilson added. “I’ve been watching him for a while. He’s a great pass rusher, dominant, and a disruptive player that’s going to be relentless all over the field. That’s what I try to have my game at, be relentless and disruptive.”

If Wilson adds weight, he could see time at the three-technique on passing downs with Crosby and Jones on edge. Doing this could free up Crosby for one-on-ones if Wilson can be productive.

“Yes, I’m excited to be able to join the team and learn from guys like Chandler and Max to help me take my game to another level and help the team get to a Super Bowl,” Wilson said.

Last year the Raiders’ defense was ranked 29th in passing yards and near the bottom of the NFL in sacks. According to Next Gen Stats, the Raiders had the fourth-lowest pressure rate (24.5) and third-lowest sack rate (4.4) in the NFL last season. So Wilson will be counted on to help the Raiders’ pass defense by getting pressure on the quarterback.

 
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