Raiders News: Christian Wilkins, and more.

Disrespect Towards Newest Raiders Star Christian Wilkins Is Mounting

It’s bizarre how things work, but since joining the Las Vegas Raiders, Christian Wilkins has started to experience some disrespect. Are we really surprised by that?

Raiders fans are used to seeing their squad and beloved individual players ignored; at times, it borders on contempt. Maxx Crosby is no stranger to this; you could make an argument that he should’ve been Defensive Player of the Year at least once by now. Wilkins, Crosby’s newest running mate, is starting to receive similar treatment.

If you recall, Pro Football Focus ranked just inside their top ten of NFL defensive interior linemen, at No. 10, literally. Being ranked underneath Jalen Carter and Jeffery Simmons was surprising to say the least. Wilkins has been absolute wrecking ball inside the last three years with the Miami Dolphins. 36 tackles for a loss and sporting one of the best PFF run-defense grades surely backs up that statement. So, what’s changed? He’s a Raider now.

Wilkins, the crown jewel of new Raiders general manager Tom Telesco’s first offseason, received a hefty contract. For a team that’s been starving for help in the middle (in hopes of freeing up Crosby), Wilkins was worth every cent. In theory, at least.

As if PFF’s ranking wasn’t enough, Wilkins has seen his name trending again for the wrong reason. In the latest episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks, we got a behind-the-scenes look at the New York Giants. While discussing free agent options for their own team, Chris Rosetti (Director of Pro Scouting) made a bold (and questionable) statement regarding the Raiders’ acquisition.

“I don’t think he’s a difference-making pass rusher on third down we need opposite Dex [Dexter Lawrence]. But a really good football player who will do well for himself.”

Raiders DL Christian Wilkins is indeed effective on third down…

In Wilkins’ defense, people were quick to analyze Rosetti’s statement; it is July after all. USA Today’s Doug Farrar had the best argument, which helped disprove the notion that Wilkins wasn’t a disruptor on third down.

In fact, Wilkins recorded 27 third-down pressures last season, according to SIS (SportsInfo_SIS). He was tied with two other big names: Chris Jones and DeForest Bucker—that’s pretty elite company. Say what you will, but Wilkins likely could care less what media publications or other NFL executives have to say. Still, if you’re Wilkins and the Raiders, all of this could make for some compelling bulletin material.

*Top Photo: Getty Images

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