Buffalo Bulls Pro Day - Khalil Mack

After months of using the same pictures, we got a few news ones at the Combine. - Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

... and they're like; "He's better than Barr!"

Ready for a surprise? Khalil Mack is a hot commodity this morning for UB's pro day. Scouts from all over the NFL as well as from Hamilton and Toronto of the CFL have made their way to Amherst to see the projected top-ten pick in action. They'll be joined by a host of media representatives from local sources such as The Buffalo News, Niagara Gazette, and all the local TV stations, but also larger outlets such as the Toronto Sun and NFL Draft Blitz. #1 Mack fan Mike Mayock from NFL Network will also be in attendance.

It goes without saying that Mack's high profile is a huge boon for everyone else participating in the festivities today. Among those in attendance representing NFL teams will be UB alum Andre Ford from Tampa Bay and four-time All Pro Joey Porter making the rounds for Pittsburgh, who, if SBNation's latest Mock Draft is to be believed, will get Mack when each of the first fourteen teams prioritize other positions.

Another tidibit from the attendees list: Mack's agents will be in attendance, but Alex Neutz and Fred Lee, who have both signed with CRM Sports Management don't have any representation listed, nor do any other Bulls. For Bulls fans hoping to see Neutz and Oliver sneak into the late rounds of the draft, this may not be the best news.

Anyway. Onto the Main Event. I don't think I need to run down career numbers or get a feel for which teams have needs at linebacker/edge rusher, because Mack is so high profile that we mostly know by now.

Blake Bortles' run up the draft boards has everyone reshuffling their picks, but the most popular opinions have Khalil going to the Vikings or Buccaneers just outside the top 5, but other pundits think he could be scooped up by Oakland or Jacksonville a few picks higher up. Everyone is split on what Atlanta will do: they could trade up for Clowney, sit tight for Mack, or sit tight or even trade down and grab one of the big three offensive tackles. The more teams that take risks on boom-or-bust candidates like Bortles and Sammy Watkins, the closer to the mid-first round Mack will fall. You can bet that Giants and Steelers fans would be overjoyed to snag him in the mid-teens, though.

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)

Taking a look back at Mack's Combine, he did nothing to slow down any of the top-ten and top-five hype that had been building for a week to ten days prior. His 40 yard dash was in step with Anthony Barr and the 10 yard split compares well to Jadeveon Clowney despite the first step being a supposed weakness for Mack. In the Bench Press and Jumps Khalil actually outperformed Clowney, and did well enough in the movement drills to maintain his standing as one of the very best defensive players in the draft.

In the positional drills Mack struggled a bit but it was clear to most observers that he was a little tense on the big stage and pressing just a little too much. At times, including one memorable rep after a pep talk from the coach running the drill, he showed flashes of the smoothness that makes him such a versatile player in any scheme.

Mack doesn't really need to improve drastically on any of his numbers from the Combine, and realistically he's going to be drafted high even if he doesn't match his numbers from the higher visibility event. But, if I were a betting man, I'd expect him to improve across the board in the timed drills and to look a lot more smooth on the positional drills as he gets to perform in the comfort of his own stadium.

At the Combine both of Mack's 40s started with a bit of a hitch, and I and others on the Bull Run crew think the linebacker can put down a time in the 4.5 range. A better start would obviously also mean a better 10-yard split as well. Given his tightness in Indianapolis, I think we may see a 3 Cone Drill in under seven seconds, as well. Any chance that Khalil gets to speak to the press and show off his composure and charisma would just be a cherry on top.

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