Raiders Get Potential Franchise Player in Khalil Mack
Much has already been said about the Raiders first round selection as they saw Buffalo OLB and consensus #2 rated defensive prospect Khalil Mack fall to the fifth overall spot where Reggie McKenzie made the easy choice to select him so I will make this as short and sweet as possible to avoid sounding like a broken record.
A couple things on Mack.
- He will contribute right away, especially as a pass rusher where he could potentially be coming around the same edge as Justin Tuck at the start of his career. Something that bodes well for him as well as working alongside another Super Bowl winner in LaMarr Woodley who should occupy the other OLB pass rusher role in the assumed “Hybrid” defensive scheme Jason Tarver will be using in 2014.
- Mack was hands down the best linebacker available in the 2014 Draft even if he plied his trade under the much dimmer lights of Buffalo as opposed to other linebacking prospects. The NCAA career leader in tackles for losses with 75 has the explosiveness to get into the backfield as well as the versatility to drop into pass coverage that is needed for the next level.
- Concerns over Mack being from a small school are valid, but only mean so much once Mack gets into the Raiders organization. If the team can get Mack up to speed during rookie minicamp, OTA’s and Training Camp before he steps foot into an NFL game he will be on the same playing field as all of the first round draft picks come Week One.
Does that mean that Mack will come in and be Von Miller right away? No, but it does mean that the Raiders have themselves a potential franchise player who can contribute right away to the Raiders pass rush and linebacker rotation. Expect Mack to secure at the very least a solid rotation role Week One, if not start, and more than likely compile enough big plays to contend for AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year. While Jadeveon Clowney was hands down the best pass rusher in this draft, Mack was the best combination of both pass rushing and the ability to play outside linebacker. Something that fit the Raiders needs very well. Expect big things from Mack, even as a rookie.