Knock Mario Edwards Jr. if you will. You’ll have plenty of ammo.
The defensive lineman was overweight at Florida State. His motivation was questioned after being a five-star recruit out of high school.
That was then. Now is far apparently far different.
The Raiders second-round pick is a svelte 279 pounds and driven to succeed following an excellent pre-draft season that made him worthy of the No. 35 overall pick.
The Raiders have thus far been happy with someone who can play end in a 4-3 base defense and inside in sub packages.
Who else performs that task? Justin Tuck.
The Super Bowl savvy veteran was a solid signing last offseason, not only for his pass-rush ability. He became an older brother to 2014 first-round pick Khalil Mack, who blossomed under Tuck’s tutelage.
Tuck has a chance to make a strong impression on Edwards Jr. as well. While it’s incredibly early, Tuck likes the young buck.
“He’s a true athlete,” Tuck said. “You can tell that the talent level is there. I hear the things that people have said about him as a knock on him. That hasn’t showcased at all yet. He’s kind of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in meetings. Obviously very energetic, running to the ball on the field, and I think that’s what you want to see from a rookie guy of his caliber.”
Tuck said Edwards is asking questions, something you want early on.
“He has a great grasp of the defense so far, as far as what we have in so far. But he asked a few questions,” Tuck said. “Most of his questions are the dos and don’ts, I guess, as far as just how to play in this league, how to practice in this league.”