Khalil Mack, the Oakland Raiders first-round pick in 2014, has the official title of outside linebacker.
However, the team’s plan this year is to utilize his talents and test out Mack as an edge-rusher, according to defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who said (via csnbayarea.com):
“We’re going to put him in position to make plays.”
The Raiders currently have sufficient depth at outside linebacker to experiment with Mack. Therefore, he’ll be an asset lined up opposite veteran defensive end Justin Tuck, who joined the Raiders in 2014.
General manager Reggie McKenzie offered a bit of praise for Mack:
“He’s pretty dog-gone good getting after the quarterback. He’s really good going forward, and it’s an opportunity to do a lot of different things with him. They’re going to use Khalil in all kinds of ways. That’s the way it should be.”
As a rookie in 2014, Mack was plenty successful. He tallied 59 solo and 16 assisted tackle. Mack also forced a fumble and recorded four sacks.
Under Norton and defensive-minded head coach Jack Del Rio, Mack will now be lined up to increase quarterback pressure, which should result in more game-changing plays like sacks and fumbles.
With the Raiders registering the second-fewest sacks (22) last season, Mack’s much-needed new role should help the team move up in that ranking.
Photo: USA Today Sports