Khalil Mack to be a Superstar in Year Two

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November 9, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs with the football past Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) for a touchdown during the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


The tackles for losses and run-stuffs are what made Mack the best 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL. The role you give a dominant player is what they’ll do best and that was the role he was given. The Raiders blitzed less than any 4-3 team in the NFL so Mack simply didn’t have enough opportunities.

He was a DE on passing downs, allowing him to be among the league’s leaders in pressures in 2014. But with teams throwing on first down and the Raiders rarely leading late in games, that just wasn’t enough to get a lot of sacks. But Del Rio will change that has he has hired Ken Norton Jr. to run the 4-3 elephant scheme.

In that defense, Mack will be the Leo, a hybrid DE-OLB, that rushes the quarterback most of the time. And like the 3-4, you don’t know who’s coming because the strong-side linebacker could rush, and the Leo could drop in coverage. So Mack will get plenty of opportunities to rush from the Leo and strong-side OLB spot.

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