Khalil Mack vs. Terron Armstead
This offseason the Saints invested big in their athletic freak of a LT Terron Armstead, signing him to a five-year, $65M contract extension.
Armstead caught the attention of scouts and coaches at the 2013 NFL Combine. The small school prospect from Arkansas-Pine Bluff of all places annihilated nearly every drill and test thrown at him and was ultimately selected in the third round. The selection has paid off big time for the Saints as Armstead has done something that many athletes struggle with, and that is translating athletic talent to the football field.
As such, Armstead was compensated as one of the premiere tackles in the NFL.
Khalil Mack is a similar story — an athletic freak from a small school (Buffalo) that came into the league with a high level of success.
The difference, of course, being that Mack was a top-five NFL draft pick and has played like it since day one. Mack was second in the NFL in sacks last season and has elevated himself to superstar status in league circles.
Mack, after finishing his second year, is already an elite run defender and pass rusher and will likely be in the discussion for NFL defensive player of the year barring a catastrophe of some sort.
Armstead and Mack are two of the better young athletes and football players in the league but ultimately it will be tough for anyone to slow down Khalil Mack this season. Armstead is recovering from a minor injury and Mack appears to be in the best shape of his life.
Luckily for Armstead, his quarterback has one of the fastest releases of any QB in the league, because I expect Mack to produce pressure early and often.
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