Scouting The Draft: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We continue to look at some of the top prospects in the NFL draft in relation to the Jets.

Introduction

Khalil Mack may turn out to be the best player in this entire draft. He won't go number one, but in 10 years when we sit down and review the draft class, it wouldn't surprise me one bit to hear "Khalil Mack was the best player out of that draft", he has an unbelievable amount of talent.

If the Jets want any chance of grabbing Mack in this draft, they are going to have to trade up into the top 10. I wouldn't be shocked if he goes top 5, but I don't think there is a single chance in hell he will fall out of the top 10, he just has too much talent. Mike Mayock today said that Mack would be his number one overall selection, and that's not surprising at all.

As a 2 star prospect coming out of high school in Florida, Mack received just one scholarship offer, He accepted the offer to play at Buffalo and he has been causing havoc ever since.

Measurables

Height: 6"3

Weight: 248lb's

Class: Senior

Projected 40: 4.6

Statistics

Year Tackles For A Loss Sacks Interceptions Forced Fumbles
2013 100 19.0 10.5 3 5
2012 94 21.0 8.0 0 4
2011 65 20.0 5.5 1 5
2010 68 14.5 4.5 0 2

Positives

  • Production: I don't care where you play, those statistics are impressive. 327 tackles, 75 tackles for a loss, 28.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles in four years. Impressive.
  • Frame: Just got a great well built frame that carries a lot of power, wide shoulders, strong upper body.
  • Closing Speed: He seems to be going quicker than anyone else on the field and turns the corner to get on top of the QB quicker than I've seen anyone do in a long time.
  • Athleticism: He can play the run, he can rush the QB, and he can drop back and cover if you need him to. Shows excellent lateral quickness, smooth change of direction and a good head.
  • Vision: Love a guy who takes the shortest route possible to the QB, he spots the opportunities and exploits any match-ups.
  • Strong hands: He has a very powerful upper body but he uses his arms well to ensure he doesn't get pushed around in run defense, sets the edge well and takes on tackles.
  • Motor: Does he get tired? I've never seen it. He is constantly playing at 100% and he just doesn't seem to tire at all.
  • Speed: Uses it well to get around the outside, was often just too fast for players to cope with. But he's not a one trick pony.
  • Pass rush: Has all the tools in his toolbox, has the speed to get around the edge, the power to use the bull-rush and the balance and athleticism to use the spin or swim move.
  • Durable: He's a 4 year starter and he hasn't missed a single game due to injury. Next!
  • Physical: If Mack hits you, well you know you've been hit, he goes straight through the opposition and makes sure they know he is there and if they hold onto the ball too long, they will be on the floor.
  • Quickly locates the ball and moves to make the tackle, good anticipation after the snap to know where the ball is going to be.
Negatives
  • Played in the MAC, people will hold that against him and his production.
  • Needs to do a better job tackling in the open field, he is a good tackler, but when he's out in space he needs to understand that bringing the guy down is the only thing that matters.
  • Snap anticipation: His closing speed makes up for this, but he can sometimes be a little tardy off the snap.
  • Missed a game for violating team rules, however I've not heard he is a problem of any sort.
Conclusion

Mack is a tremendous player. As I mentioned above, he plays the run well, he rushes the passer well, he has good anticipation and he can drop back into coverage without any problems. Simply put, he is the perfect 3-4 outside linebacker. There is very little not to like about Mack and it's not surprising to hear Mayock say he would take him with the No1 overall selection as for me he may be the best player in this draft. If a 4-3 team falls in love with him, he could play the SAM position but I think he was made for the OLB in a 3-4 and that's where he is going to do his damage.

Would I draft him for the Jets

I would sacrifice Namath's moustache for a chance to draft Mack. However unfortunately for all of us, that's not going to happen. He will be a top 10 selection and as I mentioned in the introduction. I would not be surprised if he ended up being a top 5 overall selection. I just hope he ends up in the NFC so we don't have to see all that much of him.

Highlights

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