Recapping Mack at the Combine

Joe Robbins

After a solid day at the NFL Scouting Combine Khalil Mack solidified himself as the No.1 OLB in the draft.

Khalil Mack entered today as most people's No. 1 or No. 2 OLB prospect, and by the end of the day Mack has cemented himself as a surefire top 10 pick and it's easy to see why.

Measurables:

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
40 Yard Dash 10 Yard Split Bench Press Vert Jump Broad Jump 3 Cone Drill 20 Yard Shuttle Arm
4.65 s 1.56 s 23 reps 40.0 in 128.0 in 7.08 s 4.18 s 33 1/4"

(stats from NFL.com)

Mack was as advertised in all of the measurable categories, and he was a top performer among the linebacker groups in all of the drills. He even beat Jadeveon Clowney in every category with the exception of the 40 yard dash time. Of the data listed above the most important stats are the 10 yard split, 3 cone drill, and 20 yard shuttle. Mack's 1.56 second split time tied Clowney, and if he didn't slip I would wager that his time would have been even faster. The split time shows that Mack has the explosiveness to get to full speed in a short amount of time, he will have around 10-15 yards to get to the QB so the split is a good indication as to how he gets up to speed. The 20 yard shuttle and 3 cone drills measure lateral agility and ability to change directions quickly; again, Mack's showing did nothing to hurt him and helped mitigate any concerns about his lateral quickness.

Overall, Mack's performance in the measurables drills were good enough to not hurt his stock. He checked in near spot on to his numbers listed by UB, and quelled any concerns about his physical ability.

On-field Drills:

In the on-field drills, Mack was a little slow out of the gate, which is understandable, he was participating in a new setting and the spotlight has definitely been on him the past few days given the amount of media attention he's received. Mack showed good fluidity and quickness in the shuffle drills keeping his head over his toes and keeping a compact stance that allowed him to control his body with pinpoint precision.

Other than a few instances of Mack getting a little too focused on being perfect in the drills which caused a minor slip up here and there, he displayed the athleticism and explosiveness that he's shown on tape for the past 4 years and validated what the tape has been saying all along.

Final Grade: A

Mack went into Indianapolis and did what he needed to do; he didn't need to blow away the competition with a crazy 40 time, but what he did need to do was validate what he showed on tape, and show that he belongs at the top of this draft. Mack was humble meeting with the media, showing he has a great head on his shoulders and a good persona thats liked by the media will do even more wonders for his draft stock. Mack solidified himself as a potential top-5 pick, and I would say he's made a very good case to be the No. 1 overall pick.

Other Thoughts:

I was amazed at the shear amount of national media attention that Mack has been getting in the past 24 hours; I anticipated that he would be covered extensively, but it seems like everyone is starting to jump on the Mack bandwagon. Seriously, just go Google search "Khalil Mack" and you'll see what I mean.

With all of the hype that Mack has generated I'm sure two people that are very happy with it are Athletic Director Danny White, and Head Coach Jeff Quinn. Mack's presence in this year's draft class has really helped pull UB Football out onto the National Stage and I'm sure White is loving every second of it. Mack's impact on the football program and athletics department as a whole will be lasting far beyond this year.

As I was watching the Combine coverage it seemed like Mike Mayock just could not stop talking about Mack, which is a great thing. If you haven't already heard, Mayock said that he would use the No. 1 pick on Mack over Jadeveon Clowney, which is a hell of an endorsement if you ask me. The more the Draft gurus are talking about Mack, and the greater the buzz around him builds, the better. The same happened to Eric Fisher last year around this time and it would be awesome if Mack were selected No. 1 overall.

Finally, with all of the hype surrounding Mack, two other UB football greats have gone to the wayside for the moment: Branden Oliver, and Alex Neutz. It was disappointing that neither were invited to the Combine, but with the attention being paid to Mack it may open the door for one, or both to be draft come May. UB's Pro Day is next week, and with the amount of scouts, coaches, and personnel men coming to Buffalo it will give Oliver and Neutz the chance to state their case to be drafted.

Links

Here are some links to some good articles/videos of Mack coverage:

A great article on Mack's rise by SI's Don Banks (Credit to Matt for posting this in the thread earlier):

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20140223/khalil-mack-buffalo-nfl-draft/

A video of Mack's 40 yard dash:

A roundup of the key performances today at the Combine:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000328861/article/mayock-pitts-donald-just-as-impressive-as-clowney-at-combine

Stay tuned right here on Bull Run for more coverage on Khalil Mack, and all things UB Athletics.

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