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2014 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Khalil Mack

The 2014 NFL Draft is fast approaching, so I guess I better actually do something draft related. Today, we look into Vikings draft prospect Khalil Mack, a terrifying outside linebacker from Buffalo. For reference, we’ll continue to bring you some hot sexy draft prospect news in the days leading up to the Vikings 2014 draft selections on May 8, 2014. We’ll be basing the priority of our previews on the draft priority board we created over the last month, which can be found here. Essentially it goes: linebackers, quarterback, cornerback, ALL THE DEFENSE, garbage bodies. Enjoy!

WHO?

Khalil Mack is a frightening good linebacker. People may be saying, “Oh, what? He played at Buffalo! That’s not a college, that’s a city! They play in the MAC! #MACtion is a joke hashtag on Twitter, come on!” And then I’d tell those people to shut their damn mouth before Mack appears like Beetlejuice and murders us all, or something. Mack is easily the best linebacker in this draft, and is slotted to go anywhere from – like – number one to number five. MAYBE. If he drops to the Vikings at number eight it would be a miracle on par with the Purple Jesus’ dropping in the draft. MORONS!

IS HE SHIRTLESS?

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Technically, yes, but we’re going to need larger pictures, definitely.

CBS SPORTS NOTES:

For each prospect, we’re going to defer to old sports writing nerds like those at CBS Sports (I’m assuming) to provide some ups and some downs about the players. Their “expertise” is requested because all I can tell you guys is whether or not they look good without a shirt, and we can’t JUST draft on that info alone, although it DOES inform a selection. Anyway. First, the GOOD!

Strongly put together frame with good body thickness throughout. Very good take-on strength with powerful wrists and hands, using his arm to jolt and lock out.

Plays fast in pursuit with very good closing burst. Smooth lateral movements with good range, surging with his hips. Uses his length well to engage, swim and swat and uses a wide array of moves to keep blockers guessing.

Active and powerful upper body to rip through blocks and won’t stay tied up long. Physical striker and hits through his target. Keeps his eyes elevated to quickly locate and track to chase and finish.

Versatile skill-set and has experience lining up all over the front seven. Relentless motor and feeds off the energy of the game. Four-year starter (48 career starts) and didn’t miss a game due to injury in college. FBS career records for forced fumbles (16) and tackles for loss (75, tied with Jason Babin).

Essentially, old men looking at this young man want to bone him. I assume that’s great for draft prospects? So what kind of bad news could there possibly be?

Lacks ideal range in coverage and needs to play with more consistent leverage and fluidity in his drops. Room to improve his instincts in space to do a better job anticipating the action.

Not the most consistent tackler in space. Doesn’t always explode off the ball and needs to improve his snap anticipation. Needs to do a better job keeping himself clean through traffic.

Missed the 2012 season opener due to a one-game suspension for violating team rules. Needs to stay focused and prove he has the mental aptitude to make the jump to the next level.

Haha … “Team rules”? Yeah, sure. Jerome Simpson will coach him on that. And if Mack is so “questionable” in space and coverage, why not let him get drafted to the Vikings and plop him right in the middle? INSTA-BONER!

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SO?

Khalil Mack would be a game changer for the Vikings. Of course, it will never happen. The Texans have been rumored to like Mack at number one, for God’s sake. Could he possibly drop to eight? I guess dumber things have happened, but I don’t think it will happen this year. Dumb luck like him dropping to the Vikings at eight doesn’t happen to us twice in a decade. But, just to play a little Devil’s Advocate with Keanu Reeves, let’s say he DID drop to the Vikings. And let’s say we drafted him. And let’s even say he ended up being all we could ever want and more! Where would it happen, and what would we do? Do we move Chad Greenway inside? He’d be too small for that. Do we move Mack inside? It would seem to cover some of his weaknesses. Do we let him play the other outside spot across from Greenway? Do we DARE take that spot away from the rotation of Marvin Mitchell, Gerald Hodges, Kill Me Now, What The Hell … I think you get the idea.

Mack would fit in great here, one way or another, and would provide the Vikings with a formidable interior defense for the next several years. Will we get the opportunity to draft him in 2014? Probably not. But let’s take the weekend to dream about it.

PJD

About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.

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