Many members of Raider Nation have quickly grown impatient with the number seven overall pick in this year’s draft, Tyree Wilson. Deemed as a ‘work in progress’ from Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham and Head Coach Josh McDaniels, Wilson has struggled mightily this season, earning a paltry Pro Football Focus defensive grade of 35.3 in two games, tallying just two assisted tackles and one pressure. To add insult to injury, last week vs. Buffalo, Wilson ranked 19th of 19 players who saw the field on defense, according to PFF. This disappointing performance has left many across Raider Nation in a state of panic, labeling the rookie as ‘A Bust’, and naturally comparing him to fellow rookie in Philadelphia, defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who the Raiders passed up in the draft to take Wilson.
Regardless of how we may feel about the selection of Tyree Wilson in this year’s draft, labeling him a bust after only two games lies haphazardly into the realm of hyperbole and of being an emotionally driven, knee-jerk reaction. Sure, a selection of Jalen Carter would have immediately solved the many problems plaguing the Raiders’ current defensive tackle corps this season, but we can not deflect our frustration of a possible misfire (once again) in the first round from Raiders brass onto Wilson, who was limited on the field for the entirety of the off-season nursing a Lisfranc injury. The only thing we must do, as a fanbase, is show patience and grace regarding the development of Wilson, and hope for the best for the youngster.
Be that as it may, Wilson has a golden opportunity this Sunday to redeem himself and to place himself in good graces with Raider Nation, as he will face a left tackle who has struggled just as much as he has this season, Dan Moore Jr.. Moore, the 6-5, 315-lb left tackle from Texas A&M, has been abysmal this season, earning an overall PFF grade of 23.0, and a pass blocking grade of 11.9, giving up one sack, four hits allowed on the quarterback, while allowing 15 total pressures in 117 snaps played. Yikes! This ranks 117th out of 117 offensive tackles eligible for grading. Moore will be primarily lined up across Tyree Wilson.
It is safe to say that Wilson should be salivating at the opportunity at this matchup, as Steelers’ offensive coordinator Matt Canada will likely not scheme to slow down the pass rush on that side. This, in effect, should leave Wilson in one on one matchups will Dan Moore Jr., particularly in obvious passing situations. This scenario is the ideal remedy for building confidence in the young rookie and could be seen in hindsight as the foundation and catalyst of sparking a successful, productive rookie season for Wilson.
WHERE IS BRODERICK JONES?
The Steelers drafted the rookie left tackle out of Georgia, Broderick Jones 14th overall, and has yet to see the field in the regular season. If Tyree Wilson is dominating the battle against a struggling Dan Moore Jr. early, I expect to see the debut of Jones on Sunday night, which will present an intriguing matchup between the highly heralded rookies from this year’s draft. Stay tuned!
I expect this game to be a Tyree Wilson coming out party vs. a struggling Dan Moore Jr., with a possible Broderick Jones debut in the 2nd half, where he will record his first career sack and make a mark on the pass rushing attack. This, in turn, can free up Maxx Crosby on the other side, who has been seeing double and triple team protection against him all season. Expect multiple sacks from Crosby and/or pressures that lead to turnovers. Timely dial ups of the blitz from Patrick Graham are also on the menu on Sunday. Overall, a redemption game is in order for this defense. RAIDERS WIN 20-14, with a game-closing play from Maxx Crosby and aggressive play calling on defense in a final drive against the Steelers.