Oct 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack (46) makes a tackle during a game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at University of Buffalo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2014 Prospect Profile: Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Buffalo


Khalil Mack – Linebacker – Buffalo
Ht: 6’3’’
Wt: 248 lbs

2013 defensive stats:
56 solo tackles
19 TFL
10.5 sacks
3 INT
5 FF

Projected Round: 1 (Top 15)

Khalil Mack went from being overlooked out of high school to one of the most coveted pass rushing prospects in the nation. He didn’t receive much attention from bigger programs as a recruit, so he elected to attend the University of Buffalo. Though Buffalo is one of the smaller FBS schools, he quickly attracted attention from the national media over his four years on campus. He completely destroyed lesser competition and played very well when given his opportunity on the big stage. He had his most dominating performance this past year against Ohio State where he racked up nine tackles, 2.5 sacks, and returned an interception for a touchdown. Mack is one of the most complete defensive prospects in this class.

Positives:

Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

He has all the size you want in an NFL linebacker. He has a complete build and is as solid as a rock. He can carry his size with incredibly athleticism, which makes him a weapon on defense. He is very fast, which was shown when he beat out the entire Ohio State offense as he returned the interception for a touchdown.

Mack has elite pass rushing ability. He uses his speed to his advantage when rushing around the edge. He out matches the lineman athletically and creates havoc off the snap. He also does a great job of overpowering his opponent. Mack plays with great pad level, staying low until it’s time to burst through the line. His raw power is tough to beat.

He is also great against the run. He does a great job of keeping the play in front of him. When the ball carrier does happen to get by, he can chase him down anywhere on the field. His range is top-notch and he is in on every play. Mack has great tackling skills and also has a knack for stripping the ball.

Negatives:

He seems to hesitate off the snap more than he should. He takes a little time to read the play before he decides where he is going to rush. It would be ideal for him to rush the offensive lineman off the snap and decide where to go while he is in the process instead of hesitating. This is an easy fix.

Mack has a difficult time when asked to cover a receiver in man coverage. He does a great job when asked to cover the running back because he can keep the play in front of him. It’s when he has to turn and cover that creates the problem. He’s incredibly athletic when moving side to side, but when he needs to turn around and pursue, he can get beat.

Conclusion:

Khalil Mack is the complete package. He is an elite pass rusher who can also play the run. He is solid in coverage and is in on every play. Mack is another linebacker who will light up the league in his first year. He can play all linebacking positions and would fit on any defense. The rest of the team would improve because of the game planning around him. He is a lock for the top 15 with a chance to be the most dominating defensive prospect in the class.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Khalil Mack Tampa Bay Buccaneers