Oakland Raiders: Maximizing Talent Through the Hybrid Defense

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Jun 17, 2014; Alameda, CA, USA; Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Most Effective Option for Rookie Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack was a gift that fell into the Raiders laps on Draft Day. A scheme versatile linebacker with coverage skills and a nasty ability to get to the quarterback.

How do you use this weapon of QB destruction? You let him attack the quarterback the same way he did in college.

Mack is an ideal 3-4 edge rusher at the linebacker position. He can bend the edge, use a power rush, stuff the run, and drop in coverage if needed. The 3-4 defense would allow Mack to attack from the stand up position, doing what he does best attacking the quarterback, while limiting his time stuck in coverage.

Mack can still be effective in a 4-3, especially on 3rd downs and passing situations. Mack can put his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 and still attack the QB, making him a very valuable three down player.

While recent reports indicate the Raiders coaching staff may have Mack’s “Head Spinning”, I consider that a good thing. Mack will be counted on to be a versatile piece in Jason Tarver’s defense, and will be relied on week in and week out against some of the best offenses in the league.