Khalil Mack NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack (46) runs on the field during the first half of an NCAA football game against the Connecticut on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Mike Groll/Associated Press

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo (6’3”, 251 lbs.)

Oakland Raiders

First Round: Fifth Pick

NFL Comparison: Brian Orakpo, OLB, Washington Redskins

Combine Weigh-In
6'3"25133 1/4"10 1/4"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle


  • Consistently productive despite seeing double-teams and chips at a high rate. 
  • Accelerates from static positions with explosiveness. 
  • Closes in a hurry with fine open-field speed. 
  • Sudden feet with lateral quickness to beat blockers. 
  • Highly instinctive player in every way. 
  • Plays with his eyes up, reading blockers and locating the football. 
  • Sets up his pass-rushing moves while reading positioning and footwork of tackles. 
  • Maintains discipline in pass-rush lanes against mobile quarterbacks. 
  • Delivers a destructive blow to the frame of pass-blockers with heavy hands. 
  • Converts speed to power with regularity. 
  • Bends back blockers and presses the pocket with a bull rush often. 
  • Is able to disengage from a bull rush and pursue when QB is chased off his spot. 
  • Flattens out around the corner with remarkable flexibility. 
  • Plays with head on a swivel in coverage and picks up receivers well. 
  • Has shown ball skills; intercepted three passes in 2013. 
  • Meets run blocks with his hands to keep space and avoid cut blocks with ease. 
  • Throws around tight ends like ragdolls in one-on-one matchups. 
  • Keeps contain against perimeter runs by diagnosing quickly and controlling blockers. 
  • Always flowing to the football with a motor that doesn’t run cold. 
  • Truly dominant against average competition; didn’t drop-off against better teams either. 
  • Plays with an edge to him without being dirty.


  • Frame is on the smaller and more compact side; could be maxed out physically. 
  • Not a pure speed-rusher around the corner. 
  • Somewhat less effective rushing from the interior when he doesn’t have space to operate. 
  • Repertoire of pass-rush moves still undeveloped to a degree. 
  • Needs to be a more consistent tackler in terms of wrapping and finishing with power. 
  • Doesn’t properly break down in space as a tackler often enough. 
  • Likes to leave his feet and lunge at ball-carriers instead of driving through with his hips. 
  • Didn’t rush with his hands in the dirt often at Buffalo. 
  • Can play flat-footed in coverage. 
  • A bit slow to get depth dropping in coverage. 
  • Little experience as a traditional linebacker playing from off the ball.
Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • A 2-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2009; unranked by both ESPN and Rivals. 
  • 2013 MAC Defensive Player of the Year. 
  • NCAA record holder for tackles for loss and forced fumbles in collegiate career. 
  • Team captain as a senior. 
  • Opted not to participate in the Senior Bowl despite full health.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com.


Mack emerged as a legitimately elite talent in this draft in the first game of his senior season, and he never looked back. He was utterly dominant throughout the season, putting up gaudy statistics despite having the full attention of every opposing offensive coordinator. His natural athleticism and raw power makes him a handful for any blocker. Top that with uncommon instincts as an edge defender, and you have yourself a difference-maker in the NFL. 

Draft Projection: 1st Round

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