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Raiders 2023 draft: Best defensive players

The Raiders should be in play for a top defensive player at No. 7

Texas A&M v Alabama
Will Anderson
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the Las Vegas Raiders signing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency, that may mean they will concentrate on upgrading the defense instead of drafting a quarterback at the No. 7 overall pick.

That could be a great boost for Las Vegas. There is a strong chance the first four picks of the draft will be quarterbacks. That means the Raiders could get no worse than the third defensive player taken off the board. That means they can probably stay put at No. 7, keep their surplus of draft picks and get an impact defender.

Let’s look at the top defensive players on the draft board:

Will Anderson, Alabama, pass-rusher:

He is a fantastic prospect and will likely be the top defensive player taken off the board. Perhaps the Raiders could try to trade up to No. 5 for him. He likely won’t be available at No. 7.

Jalen Carter, Georgia, defensive tackle:

Carter would be a great fit for the Raiders on the field and because of his legal trouble in Georgia, He could be available. But would the Raiders take him because of his off-field issues?

Utah v Oregon
Christian Gonzalez
Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

Christian Gonzalez, Oregon, cornerback:

I wouldn’t be shocked if this is the pick. He is an incredible athlete and is expected to be a true shut-down cornerback in the NFL. The Raiders have swung and missed a ton in the draft at cornerback, taping Gonzalez could change their fortune.

Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech, pass-rusher;

Like Anderson, Wilson is another dynamic pass rusher and he would be a terrific partner for Maxx Crosby in Las Vegas.


If the Raiders want a defensive player, they are in great shape. This pick could go a long way to finally solving Las Vegas’ issues on defense.