Thursday, May 8, 2014
Raiders pick Khalil Mack in 1st
By Paul Gutierrez
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The pick: The Oakland Raiders had to be just as surprised as they were happy to see Khalil Mack fall into their laps at No. 5. He is seen as a Von Miller type who has 10#&189; sacks and 19 tackles for a loss last season. In his career, he tied the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision modern record with 75 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
My take: Mack fills a need and was the best player on the board when it came time for the Raiders to pick. There was no need to trade back, and, on the surface at least, it appears as though Oakland nailed the pick. Plus, coach Dennis Allen is familiar with Mack's skill set, having been Miller's defensive coordinator in Denver.
Wild-card category: He's a pass-rushing linebacker, so you wonder if the Raiders will line him up at times at right defensive end to, yes, rush the passer. Or, does he simply take Kevin Burnett's spot at weak-side linebacker? Mack, who was recruited out of high school by only two colleges, has a huge chip on his shoulder and rocks the same Darth Vader-style face mask as new defensive end Justin Tuck.
What's next: Barring any trades, the Raiders hold the fourth pick of the second round (No. 36 overall) and the third pick of the third round (No. 67 overall). The Raiders still have needs in the secondary and at quarterback.