Raiders could have a dynamic pass rush in 2015

The combination of Khalil Mack and recent pickup Aldon Smith gives Oakland one of the top pass-rushing duos in the NFL.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/George Nikitin)

(AP Photo/George Nikitin)

Raiders could have a dynamic pass rush in 2015

Former 49ers OLB Aldon Smith signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders Friday, in what amounts to a low-risk, high-reward deal for the team.

Smith is one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL, and pairing Smith — provided he can behave himself off the field and isn’t disciplined by the league for past behavioral issues, which are what led to his release from San Francisco — opposite rising star OLB Khalil Mack will make for a devastating combination.

If both players perform to their potential, they will rival the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL: the Chiefs (Justin Houston and Tamba Hali), the Ravens (Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil), and the Broncos (Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware).

Smith comes into 2015 as our No. 10-ranked edge defender in PFF rating, at 85.2. With Mack as our No. 6 edge defender, the signing makes Oakland the only team in the NFL with two top-10 players at that position.

While his 2014 season was shortened to seven games because of his off-field issues, Smith still put up productive numbers while grading positively in six of the games. He totaled 31 pressures in 213 pass-rush snaps, ranking ninth among NFL 3-4 OLBs in pass-rushing productivity.

Mack already showed last season that he was an excellent run defender, and has displayed an increased pass-rush ability this preseason. If that level of play continues and Smith is on the field and productive, the Raiders could have a very formidable pass rush in 2015.

| Analyst

John is an analyst for Pro Football Focus and former safety for the University of Kansas Jayhawks (2004–2006).

  • codered5

    Jesus, looks like a high compensatory pick for the raiders waiting to happen whenever aldon decides leave

    • Jake Wellington

      Did you even read the article, boss? He will be paired with one of the best, if not the best behind Watt, DL/LB in the league next to his best friend, Justin Tuck, on a defense that is a CB or SS away from top ten. Do you even follow football, jackass? Do you know the Raiders have one of the best up and coming QBs along with an absolute stud at WR (not to mention the guys behind him), a future star in Murray at RB, Wilford at TE and a RT away from having a dominant OL. You are a tool who keeps repeating company line that has more to do with Al Davis than this current squad (a squad unanimously viewed as being contenders by next year). Hopefully you’re a Niner fan.

      • Ryand

        Unanimously? Lol

        A right tackle away from being dominant o line? Lol

        One of the best up and coming qbs? He’s a flop. Worst passer in the whole league when under pressure which lines up perfectly with his 50 qb rating in college when under pressure


        And as far as an absolute stud at reciever, I wasn’t aware they had traded for aj green or julio jones or demaryius thomas or Calvin johnson or Dez bryant or jordy nelson

        He has a shot to be in the same class as those guys, but hasn’t proven it yet

        You’re funny

        • Jake Wellington

          Yes, unanimously (LOL is for teenage girls–grow up.)

          Our line has kept Carr from being hit more effectively than any line not the Cowboys, and we may have passed them lately. So, yeah–we are already dominant.

          He has better stats than Rogers and is UNANIMOUSLY seen as a franchise QB (look to ANY analyst right now). BEST stats when under pressure (another reason you should stick to commenting on Justin Beiber sites–you’re wrong about everything).

          EVERYONE agrees–Cooper is amazing. Just watch him, asshole Rookie of the Year with Gurley.

          You’re funny because you write like a retarded twelve year old girl, and your were wrong on LITERALLY everything mentioned.

          Good luck sniffing your cat’s ass tonight as you cry your lonesome, very stupid, self to sleep.

        • bb

          A year later 9-2 LOL

      • codered5

        I’m a raiders fan actually I just can’t imagine the raiders giving him a long term contract or franchising him after the season is all. I don’t agree with the up and coming young qb stuff. How about we just wait and see. I also disagree with the people that are writing Derek carr’s obituary after one year with the worst skill position players in league history. He’s not the worst qb under pressure he’s just the only bad pressure quarterback that any says anything good about. You are delusional if you think they are one anything away from being a dominant anything outside of being aaron Rodgers away from a dominant offense. What they are is a team that needs to see quite a few young players developed and if and when that happens is a toss up. I want Cooper and Murray and Jackson and Edwards and Walford etc. to be good players but no way to know if that sooner or later or never. I’ll make an exception for Cooper. He’s going to be good no matter what happens. Like Mack he’s just gonna be what he’s gonna be regardless of situation

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