Man Crush Monday: Khalil Mack
We have given a lot of love to quarterbacks in this weekly segment, and to the offensive side of the ball in general. This week it was time to show some respect to the defense, and highly deserving of this week’s Man Crush Monday is Raiders’ linebacker Khalil Mack. In his second year Mack is showing he is one of the best young defensive players in the game.
Against Denver Mack had five sacks, tying the team record set by Raiders great Howie Long for most sacks in a game. He only had four sacks all of last year. His second sack of the game was in the end zone, resulting in a safety. This play made a huge difference in what would end up being a low scoring game. Mack has fourteen sacks on the season and is one of the reasons why the future is looking bright in the black hole.
Taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Mack is part of a young core that includes Derek Carr and Amari Cooper that are bringing the competitiveness back to Oakland Raiders football. Along with new Coach Jack Del Rio they have the team believing in itself, and it has shown during this season. Having leadership like Charles Woodson on the defense probably doesn’t hurt Mack’s development either. At 24 years old, he has plenty to learn but plenty of football left as well. The progression from his rookie year to this year has shown a huge leap, and having a good offense should only help take the pressure off. You have to wonder if you are the Houston Texans, do you wish you could go back and take Mack number one instead of Jadeveon Clowney?
Kevin McQuade covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @kmcquade9.