Debut Of The Mack

#4. Khalil Mack– We’ve seen plenty of offense so far and rightfully so because it is an offensive driven league. I remember when I gave a teaser of this list, I said there were nine offensive guys and one solo defensive player. The debate for the best defensive player in the league can go in three different directions and I honestly wouldn’t knock anybody for their answer at all. J.J. Watt is honestly the top choice and after all, he’s won three of the last five defensive MVP’s but he’s been injured as of late. Then, there’s Von Miller and when he’s healthy, he makes a huge difference for his defense in Denver. Then you have this guy in Oakland who’s been nothing but spectacular since he was drafted in 2014 out of Buffalo. Khalil Mack is the final guy making his debut on The Daily Blitz’s ten best players list and comes in as my fourth best player heading into the 2017 season, my lone defensive player and top rated defender in the league. For years, the Oakland Raiders were at the bottom of the pack and a laughingstock to people around the league because of their struggles. When he was drafted by the franchise, they also picked up a guy by the name of Derek Carr and I’ve often referred to these two as the cornerstones of that Raiders franchise. Khalil is a leader and the heartbeat of that entire team. Derek Carr has quite a bit to do with them becoming relevant once again, but there’s no denying that Mack is the guy that truly makes that engine go. Once Charles Woodson retired, this became number 52’s defense. He’s a fun guy to watch. He’s 6’3, 250 pounds and moves with tremendous quickness and has a scary first step. He’s dominant when it comes to stopping the run, rushing the passer and he’s the one guy that you really have to worry about being that disruptive force to your offensive game plan. He can get to the ball-carrier with ease and get in the backfield before a running back can get out the backfield and sets the edge and waits to make a tackle. He’s that fast and electric. He has very violent hands and sheds blockers with serious aggression. His motor is always revved up. It doesn’t matter if his team is up by a comfortable margin or down by two or three touchdowns, he’s always out there giving it 125 percent and you talk about a guy that leaves it all out on the field, that’s Khalil Mack for you. He’s always low and the most common rule in football is the lowest man wins the battle and he uses his speed, his quick hands, footwork and relentless effort to rush the passer. Trying to block him one on one is a nightmare and an insult at the same time. He just makes offensive linemen look absolutely ridiculous. He wins battles in more ways than one. He can bull rush which is putting your hand on his chest and just pushing the lineman back, he can finesse a spin meaning he can pretend as if he’s going to spin then he comes around and he’s bringing the quarterback down. He can also make an offensive lineman step back and turn his shoulder and once that happens, he has the path and he’s won. Mack is also clutch and helped seal games for his team to win. He helped lead the Raiders to their first playoff appearance in 15 seasons and was named the defensive player of the year for the 2016 season. He’s accomplished quite a bit in the early stages of his NFL career. He’s been a pro bowler, he’s won his defensive MVP, but the most impressive thing to me was being named All-Pro at two different positions. Khalil Mack has just hit the prime of his career and he’s only going to get better. That’s the scary thing about him.