Five Oakland Raiders who must step up with Aldon Smith gone

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Mario Edwards

The rookie made headlines last week, as he registered 11 tackles and one sack against the Minnesota Vikings. Edwards seems to have gotten better each week, since he started filling in for an injured Justin Tuck.

Many slated Edwards as a hybrid pass rusher in the draft. Edwards could resume that role with Smith out. The Raiders may also mix in more traditional 4-3 defensive looks with Edwards setting the edge of the defense, in Smith’s absence.

Edwards boasts a positive Pro Football Focus grade against the run, but he has a negative 1.6 grade in pass rush. The Raiders will need him to improve that, regardless of his position on the defensive line.