Oakland Raiders Preseason Week 3: Winners and Losers

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August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) passes the football against Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) during the first quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Winner: Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack was not and has never been fighting for a roster spot. The former #5 overall pick and starting defensive end was chosen as the 49th best player in the NFL on the NFL’s annual Top 100 countdown show – a ranking that is established by a vote of NFL players. He’s considered the biggest star on the team and one of the best young pass rushers in the league already despite having recorded only 4 sacks in 2014.

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  • Mack had nothing to prove really in last night’s game, but still went out and proved why he’s got the entire league talking about him. He tallied two sacks and four quarterback hits in last night’s game, bringing pressure down after down and helping to force Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer into an abysmal performance (8 of 22, 2 picks). He also showed his trademark ferociousness in the run game, helping force a fumble on a key 3rd down stuff.

    Mack was lauded heavily by the NBC broadcast team last night in the prime time game, putting the entire football world on notice that he is ready to become one of the NFL’s premier defenders in 2015. The move to defensive end may have surprised some, but it’s clear that he’s a natural no matter how or where he lines up, and he is going to be a force to recon with for many years to come on the Raider defense.

    Next: Loser: Derek Carr