Draft Profile – Buffalo Linebacker Khalil Mack

Buffalo LB Khalil Mack

Buffalo LB Khalil Mack

I have been putting off this draft profile as I do not see Khalil Mack being on the board when the Detroit Lions go on the clock at ten.  I decided to do this review in the wake of rumors that Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew has interest in moving up in the draft if the price is right.  With that being said, I still do not see it happening.  I think if the Lions move up, it will be for Sammy Watkins.  Either way, it is possible that Mayhew thinks Mack has what it takes to boost this defense more than Watkins could boost the offense and he may go after Mack.  So in the words of Khalil Mack when asked why he would visit Detroit, I am profiling him “because you never know”.

Khalik Mack is a beast.  If it was not for him playing for Buffalo, a MAC school, he would probably be the first overall pick.  In fact, there has been talk that he still could be the first overall pick.  He placed in the top five at his position in four of the six events he did at the combine.  The drills he did well in were the forty yard dash, the vertical jump, the broad jump, and the twenty yard shuttle.  His forty time was 4.65 which is pretty good for a linebacker.  His vertical was a ridiculous forty inches.  Mack’s broad jump was 128 inches. His twenty yard shuttle time was 4.18.  Mack stands at six foot three inches and weights 251 pounds.

Statistically speaking, Khalil Mack performed well.  In his first season, he posted 68 tackles, four and a half sacks and forced two fumbles.  In his second year, he recorded 65 tackles, five and a half sacks, one interception and five forced fumbles.  Khalil’s third year though was fantastic.  He posted 94 tackles, eight sacks, and four forced fumbles.  His final year proved to be his best, gathering 100 tackles, ten and a half sacks, three interceptions, and five forced fumbles.

When looking at a player in terms of draft-ability, characteristics tell more about a player than statistics and workout numbers.  Almost every player has flaws.  Mack’s only major flaws are that he played in a conference with a lesser talent level and that he can play a little too reckless.  That being said, his qualities are what puts him in consideration for the first overall pick.  Mack is very quick, has great instincts, has great explosiveness and has developed pass rush moves needed at the next level.  He has excellent pursuit, produces jarring hits on ball carriers, is extremely competitive, and produced even when being double teamed.

In terms of how he fits with the Detroit Lions, he would instantly become their best linebacker.  He brings the turnover creating abilities that Detroit has lacked for years.  Adding his pass rush abilities and turnover creating hits to a defense that has interception machine Deandre Levy already established can only boost a poor defense.  If Detroit could add Mack in the first round somehow, and add safety Deone Bucannon in the second round, their defense would be easily better than it has been in the past ten years.

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