Raiders GM Dave Ziegler speaks on drafting Tyree WIlson

Raiders GM Dave Ziegler On Going With Tyree Wilson: A “Disruptive Player On All 3 Downs”

With training camp inching closer, the hype surrounding many of the newer Las Vegas Raiders players is growing. One of those players is first-round selection Tyree Wilson. The former Texas Tech Red Raider was the first rounder taken by general manager Dave Ziegler, and as you can imagine, there was good reason for that.

On an offseason edition of “Behind The Shield,” Ziegler shared some insight into his decision from back in April.

“We definitely felt a passion for football there. So, that was one thing that was exciting. We also identified him as a curious learner—someone who wants to learn more about the game. Someone who wants to learn more about his position and the techniques of his position. So those were really attractive things in terms of the makeup.”

Did Dave Ziegler and the Raiders “hit a homerun” with Tyree Wilson?

When examining Ziegler’s words, it definitely seems like Wilson checks off a lot of important boxes in terms of a prospect. The football IQ, the passion, and the drive to continuously improve—those are all things you want in a player, and more importantly, a first-round pick. It should go without saying that Wilson’s mental traits are just as impressive as his physical ones. Let’s face it, you better draft players on more than just “character.” Just ask Mike Mayock how that worked out.

Still, Ziegler highlighted the things to which most fans pay attention, among them explosiveness.

“Then, the skill set when you watched him on film. He’s explosive—an explosive player with a lot of length. And then you combine that with explosiveness and a quick twitch, [which will cause] a lot of problems. He’s a very disruptive player on all three downs. We felt like he was one of the most disruptive players in the draft in the run game and as a pass rusher. So, those were all the things that ended up making us very attracted to Tyree at that spot.”

Besides Maxx Crosby, the defense around No. 98 has largely been substandard. To address the putrid pass rush, Ziegler is banking on Wilson’s potential—namely, his ability to disrupt offenses for three downs. Raiders fans want sacks from their defense, and if what Ziegler says about Wilson comes to fruition, they’ll be getting many of those for years to come.

*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Associated Press

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