Sports Illustrated names Khalil Mack NFL's 14th best player


Khalil Mack has become one of the NFL's most dominant defenders in only two seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

After racking up 15.0 sacks last season, the former fifth-overall draft pick came in at No. 14 on Sports Illustrated's ranking of the top 100 NFL players heading into the 2016 season. Greg A. Bedard described Mack as a "dual-threat terror" in his analysis.

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Via Sports Illustrated:

"After a very good rookie season in which he showed wisdom beyond his years as a run defender, Mack turned in the pass rush stats to round out his game as a dual-threat terror last season when he tallied 15 sacks, which was tops among edge players and trailed only J.J. Watt for the league lead. At this point, there’s no edge defender better at defending the run at the point of attack than Mack. The trait that stands out is his tremendously low pad level, which is a big problem for the taller tackles because it allows his to get inside and under their long arms. Combine that with strength and an explosive burst, and the NFL’s next great edge disruptor has arrived."

Mack's SI ranking was one spot lower than the one he received in the celebrated NFL Network ranking, which is determined by votes from other players. SI ranked six defensive players ahead of him; NFL Network only ranked three ahead of him.

Other Raiders players who made the SI top 100 list were guard Kelechi Osemele (No. 98), wide receiver Amari Cooper (No. 93), cornerback Sean Smith (No. 86) and guard Gabe Jackson (No. 59).

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