Pressure in the middle
The Raiders made a concerted effort to get better in the middle of their defensive line, and the guys vying for starting spots have really turned heads this summer. Guys like Maurice Hurst Jr. and PJ Hall look strong in their first NFL camp, and Mario Edwards Jr. seems to have found his niche in the middle of this defensive line.
Justin Ellis is going to be a starter in Week 1 in Paul Gunether’s 4-3 scheme, but the spot next to him is wide open. Edwards has the leg up on the rookies as we head to preseason game one, but you have to believe that Hurst and Hall are going to get every opportunity to show what they can do against the Lions.
This is one area of the field I will have my eyes on all night, as the pressure up the middle was a big issue for the team last season. Hey, maybe Khalil Mack will watch the game and see all the help he will have on the inside, and all the pressure it will take off of him on the edges this season.