Welcome to the first edition of the Las Vegas Raiders 2023 NFL Draft ‘This or That’ series. Today, you’re going to be the Raiders' general manager and decide between two of their top options with the seventh overall pick; Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson or Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez.
For those unfamiliar with how this works—or forgot from last year—the case for and against each player is outlined below as well as a snippet from their scouting reports. Your job is to read through those, vote in the poll at the bottom of the article and share your rationale in the comment section.
This will be a series that runs between today and draft day, and the situations will be different each time. In some instances, it will be two players at different positions but the same pick—like this one—and other times it will be two players at the same position but different rounds. We might even let things get really crazy around here and do a combination of both down the road!
Career stats (36 games): 121 total tackles, 32 TFL and 17 sacks
Case for: Wilson is arguably one of the most physically-dominant defensive linemen in this draft class. That allows him to be effective as both a run defender and pass-rusher, and his physical gifts—most notably his nearly 36-inch arms—can’t be taught. He also has some versatility where he could line up at multiple spots on the line.
Case against: Bend is extremely important for edge rushers in the NFL and that’s one area of the Red Raider’s game that needs to improve, especially as a potential Top 10 pick. He’s also coming off of a foot injury and will need to add weight to play inside more at the next level, which is a tough combination, and he won’t be a starter as long as Chandler Jones is around.
Scouting report summary via Bleacher Report:
There were times this past season when Tyree Wilson looked like a man among boys, that’s how physically dominant he is. He uses his strength well both as a pass-rusher and run defender and is surprisingly good at gaining a leverage advantage at the point of attack for how tall he is.
My biggest concern with Wilson is that he’s not a high-end athlete like a lot of other defensive linemen in this draft class. His bend and overall athletic ability aren’t necessarily bad, per se, but he might fall short in that department when compared to other first-rounders. It will be interesting to see how he tests at the combine, especially after the foot injury.
Career stats (30 games): 128 total tackles, 4 INTs, 17 PBUs
Case for: Gonzalez has excellent ball skills and length—6’1” and some change with 32-inch arms—and those are two things defensive coordinator Patrick Graham covets in cornerbacks. He also proved he can run with a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine and could realistically take over as the Raiders' top corner in year one.
Case against: There’s a reason why the Duck opted out of the agility testing in Indianapolis, his change of direction is rough. That’s going to be a bigger issue at the next level, and he also is susceptible to drawing penalties as he likes to hold when he gets beat. While Gonzalez fills a bigger need in Las Vegas, most draftniks rank Wilson as the slightly better player.
Scouting report summary via The Draft Network:
Gonzalez is a long and lean corner with outstanding overall athleticism. He offers excellent size with the height and length to match up against opposing teams’ No. 1 receivers on the boundary. Gonzalez is a cover corner who flashes the ability to lock down his side of the field. Gonzalez is an outstanding man defender who shows the foot quickness, change of direction, and flexibility to match route combinations and stay connected at the top of the routes. He has the ability to flip his hips and carry vertically with excellent long speed. He is excellent in press coverage utilizing a well-timed punch at the line to disrupt the receiver and shows patient feet to consistently stay in front and in phase throughout the stem.
Who are you taking at No. 7?
This poll is closed
Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon