Raiders fifth-overall draft pick, Khalil Mack has all the potential in the world. His athletic abilities and production have been incredible. His skills are so eye-catching that they are drawing loft comparisons.
“He’s reminded me of Clay Matthews from Day 1,” Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie said, via the San Francisco Gate. “He’s one of those guys that knows how to set the edge, and he has length and power and some tools to rush the passer.
“He’s got that first step, he can bend, he’s relentless.”
Like Mack, Matthews was a first round selection. The two linebackers have similar measurements. They are both 6-foot-3 and roughly 250 pounds. But that’s how most first round linebackers measure out. It’s their shared tenacity that appeals to McKenzie, who was director of player personnel for the Packers when the team selected Matthews in 2009.
“That’s what Clay was, you don’t have to tell him to go sic ‘em,” McKenzie said. “He just innately does that. Khalil is that same way.”
He said: “It’s hard to find guys that are skillful that have that innate ability.”
The Raiders can only hope that the similarities to the eye translate to similarities on the field. Clay Matthews’ prolific start to his career (23.5 sacks in his first two seasons) would be a godsend for the pass-rush deprived Raiders. Mack’s production in college is seemingly irrelevant. He will be play at least three more games than he did in college and their season opening opponent, the New York Jets, has an offensive line that looks nothing like his last opponent, San Diego State.