Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack is one of the most loved prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft class, especially when you look at some of the recent praise he has been receiving. Mack has been compared to Denver Broncos star Von Miller and his stock has continued to rise.
It will be interesting to see how high Mack hears his name called in next year’s draft, but at least one draft analyst believes it will be later than some are anticipating.
In his latest column, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks wrote that Mack is simply a late first-round pick.
While I don’t see him as a franchise player in the mold of Von Miller, I believe he can be a cornerstone player on an elite defense with other established playmakers. If I had to point out an example, I would cite the San Francisco 49ers’ Ahmad Brooks as an ideal comparison. Sure, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman garner most of the headlines when observers discuss the 49ers’ suffocating defense, but insiders understand and respect the contributions of Brooks to the unit. I see Mack playing this role for a team in need of a sidekick for a veteran edge player. Therefore, I don’t believe Mack is a top-10 talent, but a late first-round pick with the potential to become a difference maker on a defense with a few key contributors already in place.
There has been some talk that Mack could go as high as the top ten, so Brooks’ opinion definitely goes against that belief.
Whether or not Brooks is correct is yet to be seen.
Over the next few months, Mack will have the opportunity to work out for teams around the league and show off his skill set, which will ultimately determine where he lands.