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Raiders draft Tyree Wilson: What recent history shows

A look at past 10 3rd defensive players taken

NFL: NFL Draft
Tyree Wilson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders have high hopes for Tyree Wilson of Texas Tech after they took the edge rusher with the No. 7 overall pick in the recent NFL draft.

Wilson was the third defensive player selected after the Houston Texans’ took Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson at No. 3 and the Seattle Seahawks selected Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon with the fifth pick.

Let’s look at the third defensive player taken in the past 10 NFL drafts to see if we can get a feel from what to expect from Wilson:

2022, Houston Texans took LSU cornerback Derek Stingley at No. 3:

The first five picks of this draft were defensive players. Three quarterbacks went in the first four picks in 2023, dropping the defensive class. Stingley was considered a bit of an overdraft. Stingley showed promise as a rookie, but played just nine games due to a hamstring injury.

2021, Dallas Cowboys took Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons at No. 12:

The first seven picks were offensive players. Parsons was an incredible value pick and he is an elite defensive player.

2020, Carolina Panthers took Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown at No. 7:

This was similar to this year’s draft board. Three quarterbacks and a tackle went before the seventh pick just like this draft. Brown has been a solid, but not spectacular player in the NFL.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars
Clelin Ferrell
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

2019, Las Vegas Raiders took Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell at No. 4:

Needless to say, the Raiders hope the Wilson pick works out better. There was an early run on defense and the Raiders’ previous regime surprised the draft by reaching for Ferrell, who was expected to go near the bottom of the first round. He could never stick as a starter and was a rotational player until he departed for the San Francisco 49ers in free agency this offseason after the Raiders’ new regime didn’t exercise the fifth-year option on him last spring.

2018, Chicago Bears took Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith at No. 8:

Three quarterbacks went in the top seven picks and the first defensive player didn’t go off the board until No. 4. Smith was drafted right about where he was expected to be and he has been a very good pro. He was traded from the Bears to the Baltimore Ravens and he was given a strong second contract.

2017, New York Jets took LSU safety Jamal Adams at No. 6:

This was a defensive-heavy draft with defensive ends Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas going No. 1 and No. 3, respectively. Adams, now with the Seattle Seahawks, has had a lot of success, but has also dealt with injuries.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
DeForest Buckner
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

2016, San Francisco 49ers took Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner at No. 7.

This was a strong defensive class with the top three picks coming at No. 3, 5 and 7 (like this year) with quarterbacks going in the first two picks also like this year. Joey Bosa, Jalen Ramsey and Buckner have all been excellent players. The Raiders would be thrilled if Wilson has this type of impact. However, the goal will be giving him a second contract and not trading him as the 49ers did with Buckner, who is now with the Indianapolis Colts.

2015, Atlanta Falcons took Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley at No. 8:

This too was a similar breakdown as this year. Quarterbacks went with the first two picks and defensive players went third, sixth and eighth. Beasley had some pass-rush success, but played just six NFL seasons, finishing his career with the Raiders in 2020.

2014, Cleveland Browns took Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert at No. 8:

This was an interesting breakdown. Jadeveon Clowney went No. 1 and the Raiders took Khalil Mack before Gilbert was the third defensive player taken. Offensively, two tackles, two wide receivers and a quarterback went in the top seven picks, Gilbert was a bad choice. He lasted just three NFL seasons and two with his drafting team.

2013, Cleveland Browns took LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo at No. 6:

This went down as a weak draft. Three defensive players and three tackles went in the top six picks. The Raiders traded out of the No. 3 pick. Mingo had limited success in eight NFL seasons.


In six of the past 10 drafts, the third defensive player was taken by No. 7 or higher. So, this year’s draft fall pretty much as expected. This list shows that every year is a crap shoot. There are plenty of good and bad picks on this list.