Khalil Mack impressed everyone with his play in a somewhat unimpressive level of competition. Some wondered whether his wow-factor that made him special at the University of Buffalo would be present at NFL practices and most importantly in games with the Oakland Raiders.
“He’s an athlete,” defensive tackle Patt Sims said, via Raiders.com. “He’s a freak. We just have to put him in the right situations and he’s going to be hell.”
So, check the box next to “in practices.” He’s already impressed his teammates.
“You can see the impact that he can create,” quarterback Matt Schaub said. “You can see his physical gifts and his ability to shed blockers and be able to disrupt the passer and the timing of the route. You can really see the progression and development.”
If anyone knows about disruption, it’s Schaub. Last year as the Texans’ starting quarterback, the unreasonable amounts of pressure due to offensive line woes and his fallout came suddenly and in, perhaps, an unprecedented manner.
The guys who have been blocking the young linebacker sounded off, too.
“Khalil is a special athlete. I can tell by watching some of his movements, and the way that he can put his foots in the ground and change direction, for him to be doing that as a defensive end, he looks like he’s a defensive back,” said tackle Donald Penn. “For a guy that size to be doing that, I think he’s going to get a lot of sacks late in the down because he has a motor on him that’s relentless.”
Mack should get plenty of field time in the preseason. Until then, it seems he’ll continue to impress his coaches and teammates on the practice field.