2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Buffalo’s Khalil Mack
To prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft InsidetheFilmRoom is breaking down the best 5 prospects from every position. This week we are examining the top pass rushing prospects and we are focusing our attention on Auburn’s Dee Ford today.
We should go ahead and start calling Khalil Mack the ‘Mack Truck’ because he often resembles an 18 wheeler as he plows over anyone in his way with his incredible strength and relentless attitude. In fact, I found the easiest way to find Mack while watching the University of Buffalo’s game tape was to look for the lineman that got blown backwards at the snap.
The scary thing for offenses is Mack’s superhuman strength is only one aspect of his explosives athleticism. With quick feet and strong legs, Mack has exceptional burst and lateral agility making him a handful to block.
This exceptional athleticism is why NFL scouts have been drooling over a prospect from the University of Buffalo and while Mack will be selected in the first three picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Thick and Well Built: Strong from head to toe, incredible take on strength, blows up lineman with his bull rush, can compress the pocket at will, walks offensive tackles backwards, plays with great leverage and can simply overpower anyone in his way.
Explosive Athlete: Was in the top five at the NFL Combine for LBs in 40 yard dash, vertical jump, board jump and 20 yard shuttle, great first step, sudden feet and elite lateral agility, decent bend and arc on speed rush and converts his speed into power at the point of attack.
Refuses to be Blocked: Fights off blocks extremely well, uses his raw power to throw blockers aside, low pad level prevents cut blocks, long arms allow him to control the contest, fights through chips and has heavy hands that deliver destructive blows against blockers.
Motor/Instincts: Incredible instincts and awareness as a pass rusher/run defender, seemingly knows the play before it happens, plays with his head up, always knows where the ball is and is a natural born football player .
Productive: Dominate 4 year starter that set school records with 28.5 sacks, 75 tackles for loss and 16 forced fumbles with the latter two being FBS records, overwhelmed lower FBS teams, more than held his own against powerhouse teams like Ohio State/Baylor and produced despite being the focus of offenses every game.
Awareness in Coverage: Not a natural in pass coverage, lacks spatial awareness in coverage, doesn’t have great range, not fluid going backwards and can play flat footed in coverage.
Overall: Mack plays football like he was born to do it. He has the perfect body–thick powerful body with longer arms– for a pass rusher and unique instincts for the position. Simply put the ‘Mack Truck’ is the complete package.
Some will nit pick on his coverage skills, his occasional missed tackles or even his size, but in reality Mack is as near perfect a OLB as you will find in the NFL Draft. He might not have the upside of a Jadeveon Clowney, but Mack is a polished all around defender that gives 110% on every play.
With an NFL ready game and the elite athleticism needed to be an impact player, Mack won’t last long on draft day. Some draft experts have him going 1st overall but he will likely fall behind Jadeveon Clowney and hear his name called 2nd or 3rd.
Prediction: Top 3 Picks
Other 2014 Pass Rushers Scouting Reports: