2014 NFL Draft Grades: Grading the AFC West Round One picks

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May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Khalil Mack (Buffalo) holds up a jersey after being selected as the number five overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Oakland Raiders at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack (OLB/DE, Buffalo) 

Reggie McKenzie and the Raider Nation wanted a chance at either Khalil Mack or Sammy Watkins on Thursday night and they got their wish after the Jacksonville Jaguars shockingly selected Blake Bortles third following the Rams selection of Greg Robinson, allowing the Raiders to nab the best linebacker in the draft after Buffalo jumped ahead of them to get Watkins.

Still there will be no complaints from McKenzie or anybody in the Raiders front office in securing Mack, a player who pundits suggested could be a better prospect than Clowney despite plying his trades in unheralded Buffalo where the OLB set an NCAA career record for tackles for a loss with a staggering 75.

There is no doubt that Mack will be a disruptive force in the Raiders pass rush, but where his value might come in his “weakness” as the OLB can also drop pack into pass coverage when needed even if he is so good at getting into the backfield that defensive coordinators couldn’t be blamed for turning him into a strict 3-4 OLB pass rusher or even an undersized DE to harness his talents that way even if he is more than capable of dropping back into coverage.

That versatility and impressive numbers along with his well known film against Ohio State makes this one of the best picks in the entire NFL Draft, expect coordinator Jason Tarver to utilize Mack to his fullest abilities while in Oakland.

Grade: A

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