Let's look under the hood of this bad boy!
Khalil Mack 6-3 251. At the combine Khalil Mack wowed us with 4.65 40 yard dash, and an amazing 40 inch vertical leap! Compare to Alec Olgetree's 6'2 242 4.68 40 and 33.5 inch vertical leap. And James Laurinatis 6'2" 248, 4.82 40 yard dash and 31 inch vertical leap
Khalil is a mature 23 year old man. Compare with 20 year old Mike Evans and 21 year old Jadeveon Clowney. I won't insult your intelligence by pointing out the obvious advantages and disadvantages of youth and the wisdom of experience.. The question is- Will these three top 10 picks mature like a white chardonnay wine or a full bodied dark red Cabernet?
Moving on...Khalil Mack holds the all time NCCA record for forced fumbles at 16! Mack played all four years at Buffalo, and recorded 186 solo tackles, 327 total tackles, 28.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions and 12 passes defended. Three of those interceptions and Ten of the passes defended came his senior year. Mack's stats illustrates Mack's year over year improvement.
I watched all the film on Khalil Mack and on the film on Jadeveon Clowney, and I preferred Jadeveon Clowney over Khalil Mack. I got a good eye, and I know Jadeveon Clowney is a monster! What we Rams fans want to know is, Which player makes more sense for the Rams?
If we pick Clowney, it will be with our #2 pick. If we pick Khalil Mack, that means we traded back as far as Atlanta's 6th pick, for extra picks, and snatched the Best Player Available. There will be no extra picks if we draft Clowney! If you are like me, you want extra picks in the deepest draft in a decade. Right? If you disagree with me, and, you want Jadeveon Clowney, I completely understand your rational. But this article is about Khalil Mack and tomorrow I will publish an article about Jadeveon Clowney.
Is Khalil Mack a fit for the Rams? To answer this question, we must point our microscope towards the Ram's new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Gregg likes to run a very aggressive blitz defense, forcing opposing quarterbacks into foolish, quick decisions. Gregg will need at least two press coverage cornerbacks who can play tight man to man. And Williams will need one rangy free safety, who can assist the cornerbacks, by cementing the back end of defense. Gregg William's defense will allow a few big plays over the top, while making some spectacular stuffs, stops, and sacks. It's going to be fun to watch!
Williams has a plethora of blitz packages. Strong safety, and all the linebackers will blitz, with Ram's defensive linemen backing into coverage. By the way, the Buffalo Bills attempted to convert DT Alex Carrington to OLB. Can you see where I'm going with this? Quinn is quick enough to back into coverage. .
I think Jeff Fisher will cater to Gregg Williams Party! Expect the Rams to draft a cornerback and safety by the end of the 3rd round at the very latest!
Last year opposing quarterbacks torched our Linebackers, throwing a plethora of passes underneath at will for about 10 yards a pop and a 80% completion rate. Ogletree was a rookie and he improved towards December, and J.L. is not as fast as he used to be. Meanwhile, Ray Ray Armstrong is practicing a bunch of defensive back drills this offseason. Some of you think the Rams will move Ray Ray to safety. I don't! Well maybe? I think Jeff Fisher told Ray Ray he'll get a shot to be one of our nickel or dime package linebackers. But I digress.
It's easier to name off Khalil Mack's weaknesses than his strengths. Except for Ohio State, Khalil did not play as vicious a competition as Jadeveon Clowney, yet Mack did intercept 3 passes, including a pick 6 against Ohio State, and Mack broke up 10 passes in 2013. We already know that Mack can stop the run, take on blockers, bull rush, edge rush, and make big plays all over the field. Right? But the key ingredient will be Khalil Mack's superior pass coverage ability, and that will tip the scale towards the Rams picking Khalil Mack in the draft.
Let me explain. Gregg Williams runs a lot of 4-2-5 and even 3-2-6. What's that mean Ewe? Let's focus on linebackers. In a 4-2-5 Nickel package or a 3-2-6 dime package, Gregg Williams needs his linebackers who can blitz and/or cover tight ends, running backs, and underneath passes. That's a lot to ask. Now ask yourself this question. If the Rams draft Khalil Mack, who are those two linebackers? This is a very important question. Because if Khalil is not one of those two coverage and blitz linebackers, it makes no sense to draft Mack.
Let's look at the choices. Khalil Mack, Alec Olgetree, James Laurinatis, Jo Lunn Dunbar, and Ray Ray Armstrong.
I think we can eliminate Dunbar. He doesn't have the speed of Mack, Olgetree, or Ray Ray.
If we don't draft Mack, Ray Ray will probably get a chance at playing one of the two coverage linebackers., I can also see Ray Ray plugged in a 3-2-6 dime package as a hybrid Safety/Linebacker.
But, if we do draft Mack, who is the other linebacker who stays on the field, in passing situations? Olgetree or Laurinatis?
During the times the Rams run a dime package of 3-2-6. What does our front 5 look like?
Last Thoughts- The draft compass is beginning to point toward the Rams trading as far back as Atlanta at #6. If we trade with Atlanta Snead is betting Clowney, and at least two QB's will be off the board by the time we at #6. Either Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, or Greg Robinson will be available. Snead and Fisher have multiple draft scenarios plans in place, , extending into the 2nd round and beyond, depending on whether we draft Watkins, Robinson, or Mack. If Robinson and Watkins are gone, I believe we draft Khalil Mack, or trade back again and take either Justin Gilbert or Mike Evans. More on those options later.
Let me know if you think Khalil Mack would fit in with Gregg Williams style of defense.