After plenty of speculation as well as trade offers, the Raiders elected to remain at their No. 7 slot in this year’s draft and select Tyree Wilson. The defensive end’s arrival has been met with high expectations but also concerns over his health.
Wilson’s final college season was cut short due to a Lisfranc injury, and the surgery he underwent as a result was a red flag for some teams in the build-up to the draft. His production at Texas Tech, along with his overall build and skillset, however, convinced the Raiders to retain their top-10 position in the first round and make him the second edge rusher to hear his name called.
The recovery from surgery has cost Wilson OTAs as well as minicamp, but his progress in rehabbing his foot should allow him to see the field next month. The Raiders expect him to be cleared in time for training camp, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That would of course mark a welcomed development for team and player, given the expectations Wilson will face in the NFL.
The 6-6, 275-pounder will be tasked with helping the Raiders improve in the pass-rush department along their new-look defensive front. A rotational role behind Chandler Jones may be likely at first, but Wilson’s long-term future should see him serve as a complimentary edge defender opposite Maxx Crosby. That trio will aim to improve on the 27 sacks the Raiders registered last season in particular, and help the team take a step forward on defense in general.
Given his missed time, it would come as no surprise if the Raiders were to proceed cautiously with Wilson when he does begin practicing for the first time. Presuming that does take place in July, though, he will still have considerable time to acclimate himself to the NFL game ahead of his rookie season. His success in returning to full health during the summer will be a key storyline for Wilson and the Raiders during the remainder of the offseason.