Khalil Mack is one of my favorite players in the 2014 NFL Draft. Let me explain why. Three years ago, I made an impassioned plea to draft outside linebacker Akeem Ayers (side note: Good God, it's already been three years since that post?). Here is the link: LINKY
Anyway, Mack is an upgraded college Akeem Ayers. By that I mean upgraded in every single way. He's a Beezer fever dream. There are very few prospects that I'd take over Mack if he were to be available in the first round at pick 12. I won't really go over the need for linebackers in our system, because you guys are all over that already!
- Excellent pass rusher. In fact, its his best trait and he can be ultra disruptive.
- Intelligent. Rarely gets fooled by fakes and plays aggressively but in a contained way.
- Strong. Sheds blocks very well when he wants to. Much better than my description of Ayers above.
- Fluid in his backpedal and has the athleticism to match up in man coverage.
- Incredible fundamentals. Fills his gap responsibility. Does not overpursue. Stays square.
- Impact plays. Makes a lot of them. Disruptive, too. So much so that he's game planned for like Clowney but still manages to mess things up for the opponent.
- Explosive first step. Not quite Jadaveon Clowney or Anthony Barr, but definitely a plus.
- Level of competition is a concern.
- Waxes and wanes during games. I've seen him take a few plays off.
- Run defense is usually solid, but seen him get blocked by a single man a few too many times.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Of course he does. You read that Ayers Fanpost, right? Well the argument I made for him there still applies. I think Mack is obviously a strong candidate to be a 3-4 OLB, but can also be the perfect SAM in Perry Fewell's Tampa-2. He's a brilliant blitzer and can play the run and pass well.
That allows him to disguise coverages and schemes. He can move around. He can play with his hand on the ground. He can do anything he wants. The Giants could use that type of foundational piece.
No. 46 Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo vs Ohio ST '13 (via SportCutups)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 5
Mocking the Draft - 6
CBS Sports - 10
Draft Breakdown - 8
Draft Tek - 5
Mack can absolutely have a Von Miller type impact on the right team. He's just that good. Unfortunately, he'll likely be a pipe dream by this point. While he would bring a huge impact to OUR team, his presence can be even better in the hands of a defensive coordinator who would create more opportunities for him to rush the passer. A 3-4 team or a 4-3 Under team could use him as a "Predator" to move around and create havoc.
All in all, do I think Mack ends up in Big Blue? No. I think we're locked in to an offensive player at this point with the hiring of a completely new offensive staff. Regardless, Mack will not be there to pick, anyway.
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