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PHOENIX -- Khalil Mack splits time between linebacker and defensive end, putting his hand on the ground primarily during sub packages.
Beyond that, the Raiders have just three edge rushers on their currently expanded roster. Can you name them? Good luck.
That short list includes quality veteran Justin Tuck, promising young reserve Benson Mayowa, and Shelby Harris, who spend most of last season on the practice squad.
That’s not a deep group of edge rushers to be sure. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio plans to add to it in the NFL draft, quite possibly with a high pick, who could become Mack’s havoc-wreaking partner in crime.
“Khalil’s talent is obvious,” Del Rio said. “We really feel like getting another edge rusher opposite him who has similar characteristics, ability, speed and athleticism will be important for us going forward.”
The Raiders will have quality options at No. 4 overall, and again at No. 35. Florida’s Dante Fowler is often compared to Mack and would be a solid, versatile fit in the Raiders scheme. USC’s Leonard Williams would be a welcome addition who can play end or defensive tackle.
It’s possible that both Fowler and Williams could be gone when the Raiders pick at No. 4. Nebraska’s Randy Gregory is another ferocious edge rusher and could be a top 10 pick.
LSU’s Danielle Hunter and Mississippi State’s Preston Smith, among others, could be early second-round picks from a deep class.
The Raiders need numbers and talent at that position to help Mack, limit snaps for veteran Tuck, and create a diverse pass rush that can attack from all angles.
The pull to select receivers Amari Cooper or Kevin White at No. 4 could be strong, but receiver depth in this draft could allow the Raiders to think about using their first pick on a pass rusher.
“We’re going to strengthen the roster there,” Del Rio said. “We’re going to add some players at defensive end and wide receiver, two spots we know we’re going to need to address in the draft.”