Oakland Raiders: 53-Man roster projection

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August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) rushes against Arizona Cardinals tight end Ifeanyi Momah (80) during the third quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

Left Defensive End: Justin Tuck, Reserves: Mario Edwards Jr., Max Valles

Defensive Tackle: Justin Ellis, Reserve: Stacy McGee

Defensive Tackle: Dan Williams

Right Defensive End: Khalil Mack, Reserves: Benson Mayowa, Denico Autry

The Raiders defensive line has put on a show this preseason, as they have shown major improvements from a year ago and are finally turning their hard work into regular production.

Khalil Mack, easily Oakland’s top defensive player, has been flourishing in his new role at the defensive end position. He is consistently making plays in the backfield both against the run and on the quarterback.

Mack got to the quarterback twice in the first half against left tackle Jared Veldheer, one of PFF’s top ranked tackles from a year ago.

Free agent addition Dan Williams has been a destructive force in the middle of Oakland’s defense, as he is often seen ripping by offensive linemen to stuff ball carriers near the line of scrimmage. Williams has also made it apparent that he can stay in on third downs and push the pocket successfully, an added bonus to an NFL team that struggled to create pressure on the quarterback in 2014.

Second-round pick Mario Edwards Jr. had a slow start to his NFL career, as he looked unbearably average in his debut against the St. Louis Rams in Week 1, but the former Florida State product has shown a lot of improvement over the last two weeks.

Edwards has earned two and a half sacks in his last two exhibition games, one of which resulting in a fumble recovered by the Raiders.

Another defensive end that made his presence known against Arizona is former Mississippi State defensive linemen Denico Autry. While lining up both at defensive end and defensive tackle at times, Autry repeatedly put pressure on the quarterback and even got his hands up to break up two passes at the line of scrimmage.

Oakland’s young, talented pass rushers look ready to make an impact in 2015, as I could easily see a rotation put in place to allow a lot of these guys to see the field this season.

Next: Oakland Raiders Roster Projections: Linebackers