Khalil Mack rated best 2014 first rounder by Pro Football Focus


Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) celebrates with teammates after sacking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Mack may be in search of his first sack of his NFL career, but the outside linebacker has made his impact felt for anyone who has been watching his first six games with the Oakland Raiders. Pressuring the quarterback often despite not getting an official sack, Mack has also been impressive against the run to make up for his lack of box score statistics and has given fans hope that he along with 2013 draft selection Sio Moore will be the future of the franchise at outside linebacker.

The statisticians at ProFootballFocus appear to agree with the game film as Mack has been rated the best 2014 first round selection through the opening seven weeks of the season, coming just ahead of defensive tackle Aaron Donald as the best of the class to date. Not surprising given his stout run defending in addition to PFF’s official numbers of a combined 16 hits and hurries of the passer through six games with the Raiders.

From PFF:

"5. Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders, OLBGrade: +16.6Snaps: 395Analysis: Zero sacks and so Mack is struggling right? Wrong. Mack has positive marks rushing the passer where his 16 combined hits and hurries suggest a sack is coming soon. However, its the run game where he’s really really starred. A truly promising start."

Mack’s PFF numbers drive home the fact that while box score analysts may be disappointed to see that the 2014 Top 5 pick has yet to record a sack, the Buffalo product has been extremely explosive and has continued his reputation as an underrated player into the NFL after his small school roots in Buffalo. While those who don’t watch the film, or Raiders games from week to week, may think that Mack isn’t making his impact that simply is not the case as the expected cornerstone of the Oakland defense has been showing his potential in each of his 395 snaps. When the sacks come, expect the hype around Mack to continue as his talent and upside is very real.