The 6-foot-3 Mack started 48 games with 75 tackles, 28.5 sacks and 16 forced fumbles, and aside from Sammy Watkins, appeared to be on the must-have list for the Silver & Black, and is someone coach Dennis Allen compares to Von Miller.
"I saw a lot of similarities between him and Von Miller. I think the thing that really was attractive about Khalil Mack is the fact that he understands how to rush the passer and he understands how to rush the passer with power," said Allen during the team's Draft Day 1 press conference. "To be successful in the National Football League in getting after the passer – I’ve made that statement several times that everything in the National Football League is about affecting the passer, whether it be offensively with weapons or whether it be defensively getting after the passer. He understands how to rush the passer. Yeah, I see a lot of similarities between he and Von Miller.”
"He can do everything that we’re going to ask him to do. So, we’re excited about the versatility," added Allen. "He is a three-down player. He is going to be able to do a lot of the things that we’re going to ask him to do and have a huge impact on helping this defense and getting this defense where this defense needs to be.”
Asked about whether there was any question as to whom the team would select when it was their turn at #5, GM Reggie McKenzie said no.
“There was zero back and forth. We knew who we wanted," said McKenzie.
"The things that we saw, and we stated this, as far as his ability to rush the passer, his ability to play strong at the line of scrimmage and his ability to move around and do multiple things. The guy has the size, he has the length, he’s got speed; he’s a playmaker. We’ll find a way to put him on the field and get some production out of him, but we saw a lot of things and that Ohio State game was just the tip of the iceberg.”
There's no question that with the addition of Justin Tuck, who the Raiders picked up in free agency after Tuck's contract ended with the New York Giants, Mack will have an established veteran who can help bring him along.
Mack agrees. "Getting a chance to play with him is a blessing. He’s the best at what he does and I can learn from him. I can’t tell you how excited I am," said Mack.
“I would have been surprised to land with anybody, just to know that it’s Oakland and I’ve never been there in my life, it’s a blessing.”
“I know the Oakland Raiders play nasty. I’m a football player that likes to get in there and get nasty in a good way," added Mack.
Now the Raiders will look towards Friday, as they'll have the 4th pick in Round 2 of the NFL Draft.