Khalil Mack could help at defensive end

One of the Oakland Raiders’ biggest needs is defensive end. The team did not address it this offseason, but they are expected to use an early draft pick on an edge pass-rusher.

The Raiders, who had 22 just sacks last season, tied for the second fewest in the NFL, do have an in-house option – Khalil Mack. he No. 5 overall pick played outside linebacker as a rookie last season, but he did line up at defensive end in some packages. New Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said that should be the case this season as well.

“He plays defensive end for us already in sub packages,” Del Rio told reporters Tuesday at a breakfast at the NFL owners meetings. “So, I think it would be natural for him to be able to play whatever we decide is best for him, how it helps the team best. The number of sub snaps in the league has gone up dramatically each year. Up to 70 percent of your snaps you’re facing three- and four-receiver sets and so a sub packages where Khalil is an end is the one that really is the most prominent. He’s definitely shown he’s got ability to be an edge rusher, a defensive end, he is that in that capacity. I feel like it’s how we best want to utilize him and who we have around him as well.”