Atlanta Falcons 2014 NFL Draft Profile: Khalil Mack


Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Outside Linebacker, University of Buffalo

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 248 lbs.

Projected Round: Top-10

If you haven’t heard of Khalil Mack yet, the time is now to get to know him. Because he might just end up being the Atlanta Falcons’ pick at No. 6 overall in the draft.

A versatile outside linebacker who played his college football in relative obscurity at the University of Buffalo, Mack might be the most pro-ready prospect in the draft. A four-year starter at Buffalo, he comes into the league a grown man ready to make an impact.

Well-built physically, he looks the part of a starting NFL outside linebacker. He’s football strong, with big hands and strong arms. He sheds blocks well but needs work at reading plays and getting off the snap quickly.

Mack was extremely productive playing against mostly smaller schools, but was also impressive this past season when Buffalo took on Ohio State. A guy that would have been overlooked in the past, teams aren’t afraid to take a guy from a small school who has the skills to get it done at the NFL level.

Why The Falcons Should Draft Him:

Mack is ready to step in and be an impact player right away. That matters to a team like the Falcons who want to think that last year’s poor record was just a blip on the radar and that they are ready to compete for a playoff spot again next year.

Despite the above-average returns that the Falcons have got from outside linebackers Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu, both of those players have limited ceilings, which are much lower than Mack.

He will be one of the safer picks that any team makes in the first round this year. You know what you’re getting, as much as you can in the NFL draft at least.

Why The Falcons Shouldn’t Take Him:

Make doesn’t have the kind of upside that other defenders like Jadeveon Clowney or even Anthony Barr have. He’s steady, but he isn’t likely to end up as an elite NFL player.

Mack doesn’t have elite speed or athletiscism. It’s the same old song and dance you always hear about a guy who didn’t play against great competition in college, but you just can’t get an idea of how he will do when he has to go up against the kind of athletes that are in the NFL.

Sometimes steady and reliable is good, but with the sixth overall pick you would think that the Falcons might want someone with the potential to be a real game changer.