The Oakland Raiders selected Khalil Mack with the fifth pick in the NFL draft. Mack gives the Raiders one of the most dynamic pass-rushers in the draft. The Raiders face Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith twice a year, and getting them on the ground is important for the Raiders' success. Mack should fit in well with Jason Tarver's defense.
Tarver likes to use multiple looks on defense, and Mack will probably move around and play a few different positions. He could play inside linebacker or rush along the edge when the Raiders line up in a 3-4 defense. When the Raiders line up in the 4-3, Mack could play defensive end and outside linebacker. He's versatile and the type of player that head coach Dennis Allen loves.
What Mack Brings to the Table:
Mack will upgrade the Raiders' pass rush on day one. He has unique physical ability and great football instincts. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has said he wants to add a playmaker, and he found one in Mack. At 6'3", 251 pounds, Mack's combination of size, speed and strength will be an asset for the Raiders.
Mack has a quick first step, he's explosive off the ball, and he hits hard. Mack has the potential to be one of the league's best pass-rushers. He also plays with great instincts and will help the Raiders defense against the run.
Mack is an incredible athlete. One thing that will get lost in his sacks and hard hits is his ability to cover and make a play as a pass-defender. He understands the game of football and is athletic enough to cover a tight end as well as a running back in the flats.
Mack will be able to hurt other teams in the passing game whether he is rushing the quarterback or covering a receiver.
Where Mack Fits:
Mack will play on the opposite side of Sio Moore, giving the Raiders a great rush on both edges. Mack could find himself on the strong side while Sio Moore plays on the weak side. Mack and Moore will most likely both be moved around the defense, and Tarver likes to switch things around.
There really isn't much that Mack can't do for the Raiders. He's an immediate starter along with Sio Moore. Mack could also play defensive end for the Raiders on some packages and rush on the edge. Dennis Allen will use Mack like he used Von Miller in his rookie season.
Rookie Year Expectations
Mack will be expected to come in and make a difference right away. The Raiders defense has improved, and that will open things up for him. Justin Tuck, Lamarr Woodley, Sio Moore and Antonio Smith are all pass-rushers, and adding Mack makes the Raiders defense more dangerous. Mack should have the opportunity to get double-digit sacks this year.
Mack needs to make the all-rookie team and help lead the Raiders to more wins in 2014. He was picked to start now and make an impact now.
My expectations for Mack this season: 93 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 3 interceptions.