ALAMEDA – Defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. is starting to show signs of real promise, validating why the Raiders selected him in the second round of this year’s draft.
He’s played well for a month now, but there’s little argument that Sunday’s loss to the Vikings was his best game.
Edwards was credited with 11 tackles, a sack and four other quarterback pressures. That effort was honored Friday afternoon, when he was named the NFL’s Rookie of the Week.
He won the award over some stiff competition – Chicago running back Jeremy Langford, with 182 total yards and two TDs, was also deserving -- which shows the power of the fan vote. Raider Nation has supported their young players this season, voting receiver Amari Cooper to victory twice and Edwards once thus far.
“Amari has two?” Edwards said after hearing the news. “Now I’ve got to catch him.”
The Raiders certainly hope Edwards continues to stand tall. They’ll need him performing well with pass rusher Aldon Smith suspended for a full year.
“That’s what good football players do, they show up every week,” Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. “They find out ways to do things consistently, play at a high level consistently, and I think that’s what we’re all trying to do.
“…His development, as we’ve all seen, is right where it needs to be and he doesn’t have a ceiling. It just goes. It’s limitless. We just have to keep having him do what he does best.”