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Raiders 2023: Depth at pass-rusher

Malcolm Koonce may have to fight for his roster spot

NFL: New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders
Malcolm Koonce
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pass-rusher wasn’t necessarily one of the Las Vegas Raiders’ greatest immediate needs, yet they spent their first-round pick on Texas tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson.

Why not? You can never have enough pass-rushers.

With the addition of Wilson, it does affect Las Vegas depth at pass-rusher. They got much deeper.

Of course superstar Maxx Crosby and veteran Chandler Jones project as the starters going into the season. Wilson be be a top backup and could push or Jones’ spot if he comes on strong as a rookie and/or Jones’ struggles of 2022 continue in his age 33 season.

Wilson will also slide inside as a rookie and will very much be a top option in 2024.

Behind them are free-agent addition Jordan Willis and 2021 third-round pick Malcolm Koonce.

The Raiders are excited about Willis, who flashed some pass-rush juice with the San Francisco 49ers last year.

The addition of Wilson likely most affects Koonce. The previous Las Vegas regime, was high on him and used a fairly high pick on him. Yet, the light hasn’t come on for Koonce yet. He barley plays on defense and has just two sacks, both in his rookie season.

Koonce should be in line to make the 53-man roster, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is on the inactive list on most game days.

But, in the big picture, this group has gotten deeper and better after the Wilson selection.