The Las Vegas Raiders‘ plans for rookie defensive end Tyree Wilson hit a snag as starting defensive end Chandler Jones isn’t with the team right now due to personal reasons. Wilson missed all of organized team activities and most of training camp due to a foot injury he sustained during his senior season at Texas Tech.
His lack of training this offseason was apparent as he registered only one quarterback pressure in 25 pass rushing stats, per Pro Football Focus. NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger has been doing film breakdowns of players for years and he took Wilson to task for his perceived “lethargy” on a number of snaps against the Denver Broncos in a September 11 video posted to his X account.
Wilson was expected to be a project when the Raiders selected him with the No. 7 pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s getting thrust into a bigger role than expected with Jones out but the team needs him to get up to speed quickly. He may not have much explosion as he works his way into game shape but he can use his strength and length to still make an impact on defense.
Tyree Wilson Receives Low Pro Football Focus Grade
“Wilson had a rough Week 1, posting a team-low 40.5 overall grade,” Dalton Wasserman wrote in a September 12 column. “Used primarily in passing situations, he recorded just a single hurry on 32 pass-rush opportunities.
“Despite his length, Wilson struggled to shed blocks regardless of his matchup. He’ll likely stay in a rotational role going forward until he can consistently improve that facet of his game.”
Wilson is raw and needs work. The potential is there for him to be a big-time player but it’s clearly going to take some time. There may be some more rough games going forward but he should only get better with experience.
2 Rookie Las Vegas Raiders Passed on Had Impressive Debuts
When the Raiders were on the clock at pick No. 7 in the 2023 NFL Draft, Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter and Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez were still on the board. Both players would’ve filled major positions of need for the Raiders. Defensive end wasn’t as big of a need for the team as Maxx Crosby is one of the NFL’s premier defenders and Chandler Jones was expected to play at the time.
Both of the rookie defenders outperformed Tyree Wilson in Week 1. Carter, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, put up a 92.1 Pro Football Focus grade, which was higher than any other first-round pick. He accumulated eight pressures and a sack. The Raiders haven’t had an elite defensive tackle in a long time and having a player like Carter right now could completely change the defense.
Even if the Raiders passed on Carter due to character concerns, they could’ve gone after Gonzalez, who ended up with the New England Patriots. In his first game, he had one pass defended, a sack and seven combined tackles. Las Vegas has struggled to draft in the first round for a long time now and has to hope they didn’t make a mistake taking Wilson over Carter and Gonzalez.