Mario Edwards Jr. Brings Versaliltiy to Oakland Raiders D

4 of 4

May 19, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (97) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bottom Line

Edwards is one of three versatile chess pieces on the Raiders defense that can put heat on the quarterback. Now that he’s down to 280 pounds, he won’t be a classic edge-rusher but he’ll be capable in that role.  He’ll really do his damage from the 3-technique as I see him as similar Aaron Donald of the St. Louis Rams.

In fact, I see him play there more with Mack at the Leo and Moore on the strong side with opportunities to rush. But Mack will switch to strong-side OLB at times with Moore on the weak side. To round out the base defense, Tuck is the base-end, with Dan Williams on the nose when Mack is the Leo.

Then when Edwards is the Leo, Williams takes the 3-technique and Justin Ellis is on the nose. Curtis Lofton will always be the middle linebacker and when Mack is at Leo and Moore on the strong side, Malcolm Smith can go in on the weak side. Then in the NASCAR package, Mack is at right defensive end, Justin Tuck moves from base-end to tackle, Edwards stays at the 3-technique and Benson Mayowa comes in at base-end.

Edwards gives the Raiders defense the flexibility to find a match-up they like.

Look for the sack totals to rise in 2015!