Could the Oakland Raiders be Moving Khalil Mack to Leo?

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December 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Bills 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Oakland Raiders took OLB Khalil Mack, the draft’s best player, with the fifth overall pick in the draft. Everyone then expected Mack to get 16 sacks last year but it didn’t happen and it was through no fault of his. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the best in the NFL at what he did and that was play 4-3 OLB.

The Raiders blitzed less than any team in the NFL last year so Mack only rushed the passer on third down. Teams throw on first and second down a lot these days, especially when the defense’s best pass-rusher only rushes on third down. But now, the Raiders have Ken Norton Jr. as the defensive coordinator and a new cast of characters.

Norton has brought the elephant scheme to Raider Nation from Seattle. And in that scheme, the premier pass rusher plays a hybrid, DE/OLB position called the Leo. Mack is the best player suited to play the position as we’ve seen him take over parts of games when he’s had a chance to rush the passer a lot.

And the players the Raiders have brought in look like a hint that Mack is moving to the Leo.

Turn the page for a closer look.

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