Khalil Mack Will Dismantle The Competition


It’s widely known that the Oakland Raiders have been showing great promise for offense throughout this offseason. Without a doubt, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper are upcoming stars that will light up the scoreboard. However, do the Raiders have key pieces on the defensive side of the ball?

If you’ve noticed, one of the more interesting new factors for the Raiders is their youth. It’s about time that the Raiders roster won’t consist of washed up veterans who simply waste space.

Remember when the team signed LaMarr Woodley? That turned out to be nothing more than a cruel joke. In Woodley’s final years on the Pittsburgh Steelers, he seemed to have gained weight and lost a tremendous amount of speed and power. Yet somehow, the Oakland Raiders thought signing him would be a good idea.

As anybody with a grain of football knowledge could have predicted. the Raiders cut Woodley after one season. Thankfully, his release freed up some cap space that could be used for players who’d actually be productive.

Never sign a burnt out, old linebacker. It makes absolutely no sense. During an era of the NFL in which offensives are more explosive than ever, defenses need young players that are ready to take charge. For the Oakland Raiders, that man is Khalil Mack.

Oakland selected Mack with their first pick in the 2014 draft, and he proved to be an instant star. It’s quite difficult for a young linebacker to wreck havoc in their first season. NFL quarterbacks are generally smarter than college ones, and offensive lineman are usually much bigger in the pros. However, Mack stood his ground and turned into a defensive machine.

Mack played every game in 2014, and he never showed signs of slowing down. That’s outstanding considering how bad the Raiders offense was last season. An offense that doesn’t pile on many yards and points generally doesn’t spend much time on the field. With an array of short drives and three-and-outs, the Raiders’ defense spent way too much time on the field trying to salvage games. Keep that in mind when you think about how impressive Khalil Mack was during his rookie season.

If the Raiders’ offense finds increased success this season with Cooper and Carr, Mack will have a better chance to stay fresh all season. A healthy, fully charged Mack could be a scary sight for opposing teams next season.

Recently, an interesting article appeared with a brief section about Mack. ESPN published a Q & A feature in which they discussed potential rising stars in the AFC West. It was a nice surprise that Bill Williamson chose Khalil Mack. In regards to Mack, Williamson said:

"“The new Oakland coaching staff is ready to unleash Mack. They want him to be a pass-rushing star. Oakland badly needs a pass-rush spark. The team had just 22 sacks last season, which was tied for the second fewest in the NFL.”"

His insight includes some great news for Mack. The new head coach of the Raiders, Jack Del Rio, was previously the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. As we all witnessed, Del Rio helped assert Von Miller as a strong pass rusher. Hopefully Del Rio’s influence will inspire Mack to became every quarterback’s worst nightmare.

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There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Khalil Mack won’t become one of the best defensive players in the league. He’s a tough, hard working player that represents the Silver and Black in the best of ways. Mack is bound to be an all-time great Oakland Raider.

It’s exiting to think about all of the potential that the Raiders currently have. However, one must keep in mind that potential does not guarantee success. In the coming months, Raider Nation will know whether or not this team is ready to take over the AFC West.

Next: Derek Carr Will Take Over the AFC West