While South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney continues to get most of the hype, Buffalo product Khalil Mack is a stud in his own right and is arguably on Clowney’s level. Mack matches Clowney in athletic ability and even is a more versatile player. A stud play-maker, Mack enters the draft as one of the more explosive and seasoned prospects. With 100 tackles, 10.5 sacks and three interceptions to cap his college career in 2013, Mack enters the 2014 NFL Draft as a locked in top-five pick and a legit contender to be taken number one overall.

To get a better idea if Mack can truly contend for the #1 spot in this year’s draft, let’s take a look at Mack’s pros and cons:

Strengths

  • Has great size and build for the next level
  • Really well built, long and strong frame
  • Extremely experienced and polished
  • Pretty fluid overall
  • Elite versatility could allow him to play up to three positions
  • Fantastic athlete with terrific speed for his size
  • Has great closing speed and is nearly unstoppable in pursuit
  • Sheds blocks extremely well
  • Has active hands coming off the edge
  • Sniffs out the run very well
  • Sure tackler who wraps up with both arms routinely
  • Flat out makes plays
  • High football IQ and tremendous awareness
  • Complete player who seems to always be making some sort of an impact
  • Stat stuffer in college
  • Played well when he did face tough competition

Weaknesses

  • Did not face elite competition on a consistent basis
  • Not quite elite in coverage just yet
  • Can still miss tackles in open space, needs to use proper angles more consistently

Summary

Mack is a complete player that can make plays in every facet of the game on defense. While he can improve a bit in some areas (mostly coverage), he appears to have the size, athleticism and versatility to be a major impact player from day one. How good he ends up being will probably depend on what kind of system he goes into, but he’ll probably be best served as an outside linebacker in either a 3-4 or 4-3.

Draft Range: Top 5 Pick

NFL Player Comparison: Clay Matthews

Interested Teams: Texans, Jaguars, Falcons and Buccaneers

Buffalo Highlights:

*Photo credit – Chad Cooper via Flickr.

About The Author Kevin Roberts

Breaking Football's lead fantasy football expert. Top 40 finisher in FantasyPros accuracy challenge in 2012 and 2013. Your huckleberry.