Oakland Raiders rookie outside linebacker Khalil Mack is learning on the job.
And the fifth overall pick of the draft is going to be utilized in a versatile role by defensive coordinator Jason Tarver.
"What’s nice about Khalil is he has size and athletic ability, so that he can do some things on the edges of your defense, both in the run game and in the pass game, with his power, his length and his ability to bend and move," Tarver said. "Those are traits that you want as many players as you can have on your defense, as many of those as we can get, the happier a coordinator is.”
Added Raiders coach Dennis Allen: "We’ve got his head spinning right now. That’s a good thing. We’re going to try to throw as much at him as we can throughout the rest of this offseason and really even into the early part of training camp, and then at some point we’ll settle down to the things that we can execute as a team and execute at a high level.”
Mack said he's learning quickly and picking things up.
“There are a lot of voices behind my head right now, and I'm trying to figure out what safeties are saying, and you have different calls," Mack said. "It’s a lot of communication, like they said, but you have to listen to the right things while you’re out there and that’s what I’m trying to do right now. I’m trying to break down and assess the game at a fast and a high level like those guys are at right now.
“It’s a challenge, and I’m open to the challenge. I’m trying to go out there every day and work on something that they want me to work on, and get better at it. And try not to make the same mistakes. That’s my biggest thing. I try to go out there and do what I can to make plays and be in the right position. That’s all they’re trying to do, to put me in the right position to make plays. I’m thankful for that.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Ba ltimore Sun