Khalil Mack to be a Superstar in Year Two

3 of 5

Dec 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton (18) is pressured by Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The fact that Mack didn’t play with anyone that can bring pressure up the middle hurt his sack total. Opposing quarterbacks simply stepped up in the pocket to avoid Mack and get the ball out. But this year, with the moves the Raiders made, opposing quarterback will step into more pressure.

Even when Mack doesn’t get the sack, the pressure up the middle with Mack’s pressure will make quarterbacks that much more uncomfortable. Defensive tackle Dan Williams was brought in because he can stuff the run and bring pressure inside. Second-round pick Mario Edwards Jr. is very athletic for his size so he should be able to beat opposing guards from the 3-technique.

The versatility the defensive front now has will be able to create matchup problems for opposing offensive lines. When Mack is the Leo, Williams and Edwards can bring pressure from inside with Sio Moore on the strong side. Moore can either drop in coverage or rush while Mack is in coverage or both can rush.

Then Mack can line up on the strong side while Edwards is athletic enough to play Leo and drop in coverage at times. The Raiders also addressed the linebacker position this offseason with guys that can cover. If Mack would have rushed a lot out of their base defense last year, the Raiders wouldn’t have anyone outside of Sio Moore that could cover.

Next: The Offense