Maxx Crosby is a superstar. That much is we know. Every year he has been in the NFL, he’s made a significant amount of improvement. And now, he is widely considered one of the best pass rushers in the league.
But what about the rest of the defensive linemen around him? The hope is that a slimmer Chandler Jones will have a bigger impact in 2023. And the Raiders just used the No. 7 pick on Tyree Wilson to give the unit more size and athleticism. Still, there are a lot of unknown parts around Crosby on the defensive line.
In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they ranked all 32 defensive lines in the NFL heading into the 2023 season. The Raiders did not grade out well, coming in at No. 24. Here is what the site had to say about the unit going into the year:
Maxx Crosby earned a top-five grade in both 2021 and 2022 and has cemented himself as one of the best edge rushers in the league. However, none of the other members of the Raiders’ defensive line managed to rank in the top 64 at their position in 2022, which shows the struggles this unit can expect in 2023.
This year’s seventh overall pick, Tyree Wilson, could be the savior of this unit, but it remains to be seen when he will be able to get on the field for Las Vegas following his foot injury.
The Raiders have the pieces at defensive end, but it’s the defensive tackle spot that is the biggest issue. They are relying a ton on Year 1 and Year 2 players, which can be a bit of an issue. The Raiders need someone like Bilal Nichols to play better this season or else their youth could expose them on the defensive line.
Going into the year, the Raiders might have a weak defensive line compared to the rest of the league. But if they can get some solid play out of rookies Tyree Wilson and Byron Young, they should move quickly up this list.