Was DE Tyree Wilson the top defensive player for the Raiders?

When the Raiders were just about on the clock at pick No. 7, the choice came down to two players; Ohio State OL Paris Johnson Jr. or Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson. With Johnson going at pick No. 6, it made the selection pretty easy for Las Vegas.

Wilson was the third defensive player to be drafted, just behind Will Anderson (No. 3) and Devon Witherspoon (No. 5). But is there a chance that the Raiders had Wilson graded higher than both of those players?

In a recent article by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, he wrote about some key intel and nuggets from every team’s war room during the NFL Draft. Fowler believes that Wilson could have been the No. 1 defensive player on the board for the Raiders in the 2023 NFL Draft:

The sense I get is Tyree Wilson might have been tops on the Raiders’ defensive board, with Will Anderson Jr. and Devon Witherspoon in the mix, too. Anderson and Witherspoon being gone made taking Wilson, the long-armed pass-rusher out of Texas Tech, an easy call at No. 7.

Some teams had concerns over Wilson’s Lisfranc injury, and although Wilson did not suffer any setbacks in the recovery process, he didn’t work out at all pre-draft and teams had to feel comfortable with the medical.

This isn’t a total surprise considering there were whispers around the league that Wilson had a huge grade for most teams. Whether or not he deserves to be ranked ahead of Anderson is a different story, but the Raiders clearly believe he has All-Pro potential down the road.

As long as Wilson can stay healthy, he should be a productive player in the NFL. He’s got all the size, athleticism, and talent to be a superstar at the next level.


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Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire