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Film room: Tyree Wilson takes a step forward in Raiders’ ugly loss

The rookie had a strong performance as a pass-rusher with a handful of pressures and a sack

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
Tyree Wilson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a tough rookie season for Tyree Wilson as he’s battled injuries and tried to find his stride in the NFL. However, the Las Vegas Raiders’ No. 7 overall pick had arguably his best performance as a pro during the team’s Week 14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Wilson participated in 37 total defensive snaps, 28 of which came as a pass-rusher, and he logged a career-high four pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Heading into this past Sunday, he only had nine pressures on the year and never logged more than two in a single game.

While the Texas Tech product still has plenty of room for growth, his performance against the Vikings was a step in the right direction and the tape is encouraging.

Wilson managed to get a sack on his first play of the game, bringing his season total up to 2.5 sacks. As seen here, one adjustment that the Raiders made with him was having him play from several different alignments, especially on passing downs.

It’s third and five in the clip above and Wilson lines up over the guard as a defensive tackle. He does a good job of getting an initial surge with a bull rush against the guard, preventing the guard from setting the anchor. Then, when the offensive lineman goes to pick up Robert Spillane on the blitz, Wilson finishes the rep with the sack.

Also, shout out to Adam Butler for getting away with a little defensive holding to help make the stunt effective.

We’ll see Wilson in that same alignment in this third and long situation. What stands out the most about this rep is his get-off is much better than what it was at the beginning of the season. He reacts to the snap fairly quickly and has decent acceleration off of the line of scrimmage to build some momentum into his bull rush.

Also, Wilson does a great job of keeping his hands inside and on the guard’s chest to, once again, prevent the guard from being able to drop the anchor. Now, the center steps on his teammate’s foot which is why the guard ends up on the ground, but regardless, this is a nice power rush from the rookie where we see some of his physical tools get put to good use.

I’ll start by acknowledging that Wilson’s get-off was worse on this rep and that he still isn’t consistent with that part of his game. But this is still a nice play from the No. 7 overall pick.

The Vikings are running a screen and he gets a pass set from the guard initially. Once the guard opens his hips and the ball is out, Wilson follows the offensive lineman to the ball, locates the receiver and makes the tackle right at the line of scrimmage.

That’s pretty much teach tape material on how to play the screen and shout out to Divine Deablo for forcing the receiver to cut back into the middle of the field.

Here, Maxx Crosby and Wilson essentially flip alignments with Crosby on the inside and the rookie on the edge. While Crosby is still a tick faster off the ball, we’ll see another example of Wilson getting better at timing up the snap as their get-offs are fairly close to one another.

That makes a big difference in how effective Wilson is at turning speed to power as he’s able to collapse the pocket and put pressure on Josh Dobbs as Dobbs’ pass sails out of bounds for a third down stop.

Again, Wilson still has plenty of work to do, especially against the run as he had a 49.4 PFF grade in that department. But he showed growth in his performance against Minnesota to build some confidence during the final month of the season and heading into next year.