Oakland Raiders: 7 Things To Watch For In Second Preseason Game

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Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. at press conference after the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game against the Oregon Ducks at Rose Bowl. Oregon defeated Florida State 59-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. Will Mario Edwards Jr. Show Up?

Perhaps you can chalk it up to rookie jitters. Or something. Whatever the reason, Raiders’ second round pick Mario Edwards did not show up to play against the Rams. He spent most of his time in the game – and he did get a good amount of snaps – getting pushed around by the St. Louis lineman and being generally ineffective.

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His ineffectiveness has led a lot of Raider fans to begin wondering aloud whether or not Oakland wasted a second round pick on Edwards. After all, he was never known as a pass rusher at Florida State, generating just eight sacks over his career there. Though his weight limited his explosiveness and mobility at FSU, Edwards slimmed down this offseason, getting down to the 280-285 range from his previous 300 plus pound frame before.

It was thought that the lightened load would help improve his quickness and speed to the quarterback. It didn’t seem to help against the Rams. Edwards was well beyond a non-factor in the game.

But with a game’s worth of experience now under his belt – and hopefully, the rookie jitters gone – the Raiders are hoping that Edwards can rebound in a big way and provide some pressure off the edge. He’s going to have to really step it up.

Though Mack is likely going to see a lot of time at end, opposite Justin Tuck, and Edwards is going to be a rotational guy at first, he’s going to need to play much better to stay ahead of the likes of Benson Mayowa, Shelby Harris, and even Max Valles on the depth chart.

Next: 1. Needs To Step Up In A Big Way