Anyone who watched the Raiders the last two seasons knows Khalil Mack is a bad, bad man. His hobbies include destroying linemen and eating quarterbacks.
His teammate and fellow member of the 2014 NFL Draft class Derek Carr believes we've only seen the beginning. Asked by Adam Schein on Sirius XM's Schein on Sports if Mack can hit 20 sacks, Carr threw up an even bigger number.
"20 sacks for Khalil is easily attainable ... He could have 30 if he just didn't get held all the time," Carr said. "I'm not kidding you. I go back and watch him, because me and him are close, close friends. So I go back and watch him and those things I'm not kidding you, this guy gets held more than anything I've ever seen in my life.
"If he didn't get held, if all those things got called, he'd be hitting the quarterback at least 40 times."
Mack's rookie year was an impressive effort, but he only registered four sacks. Last season he absolutely exploded for 15 sacks in 16 games, including 10 in the last six weeks of the season (and five against the Broncos in Week 13). The NFL record for sacks is 22.5 from Michael Strahan in 2001.
He's poised for a monstrous 2016, which may be why Carr points out he would be the perfect Madden player.
"If you want to create a player and play with him on Madden, Khalil Mack is the player you're creating. That's the defensive end [you] want."
That's not far off (Carr added Justin Houston and Von Miller are among the EDGE guys you would want in a perfect world -- he knows far too much about two of the three men mentioned).
And he's not wrong. Watching Mack you see a man with an incredible combination of strength and speed, capable of blowing up double teams and making incredible moves toward the quarterback when it looks like he's boxed in.
Optimism for the Raiders in 2016 comes from the rapport Carr and Amari Cooper are developing, but if Oakland really takes a step up its because Mack puts himself in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation and becomes the cornerstone of a defense that takes a massive leap forward.
Thirty sacks would work too.