Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack is ranked 5th on the NFL’s list of Top 100 players.
Oakland Raiders pass rusher Khalil Mack exploded onto the scene of elite status in 2015 when he registered 15 sacks, earned All-Pro honors at two positions and was considered a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Following a strong sophomore campaign, expectations for Mack were high heading into the 2016 season. And he not only met those expectations, he exceeded them. Mack finished 2016 with 11.0 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and one touchdown. His dominance has continued to blossom and the league took notice.
While continuing to be a force as a pass rusher, he continued his usual dominance in the run game as well. For his efforts, Mack was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.
In the NFL’s Top 100 list, he failed to gain similar recognition. Mack checked in at no. 5 on the list, ahead of players such as Aaron Rodgers, Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell. Certainly good company, but it’s short changing the reigning defensive player of the year.
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Mack moved up eight spots from 2015. There was debate as to who would be higher between Khalil or Denver Broncos’ Von Miller. While both players are extremely gifted, the players ultimately voted for Von Miller to get that nod.
But regardless of this ranking, it’s clear that Mack has taken the league by storm and has established himself as one of the game’s elite players. And he’s still getting better, which is a scary thought for the rest of the league.
Mack will be due for an extension following the season, and like teammate Derek Carr, he could be in line for a record setting payday as the highest non-QB contract in NFL history. So even though Von Miller may have eclipsed him in this ranking, Mack might get the last laugh in eclipsing Von Miller when it comes to their respective contracts.