What teams need an outside linebacker like Mack

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch closer to the draft, what teams are in real need for an outside linebacker. GM's often say we take the best player on the board. What teams could match up the best player on the board in Mack and have a pressing need

With the upcoming draft coming up, what teams make the most sense to select Mack. Many are predicting that Mack can and should be a top 5 pick. For a die hard UB fan, how cool is that to say (I know act like you been there before - but I haven't.)  No doubt that the NFL is a QB dominated sport and a run on QB's could shake up the draft and push Mack outside the the top five.  But teams picking at 1 Houston, 3 Jacksonville, 6 Atlanta, 7 Tampa Bay, and 8 Minnesota all would love to have Mack on their team.

Houston Texans #1

Khalil Mack visited the Houston Texans yesterday fresh off the heels off a visit to Atlanta. Khalil is just a better fit at outside linebackers for the Texans 3 - 4 defense.  Also reported by Peter King this week that GM Smith prefers Mack over Clowney. Clowney is a better pass rusher in a 4 - 3 defense.  Talk is also that Smith leaked the story to trade down for more assets and not upset the fan base.  Is this a good fit for Mack, yes.  With Watt on the team, the media crunch will not be as hard to take.  Brooks Reed who last year was a disappointment with only 3 sacks could be moved up on the line.

Jacksonville Jaguars Pick #3

Did you like the defense from the Seahawks last year against Denver?  Well the architect Gus Bradley is looking to plug and play the same style in Khalil's home state.  Jacksonville has brought in from Seattle Chris Clemons and Red Bryant but the depth and talent in the front seven is severely lacking.  This is Jacksonville's biggest need.

Atlanta Falcons Picks #6

Atlanta moved away from John Abraham and the production fell of the table.  Osi Umenyiora still has a couple good seasons left in him but at 32 needs another threat to keep the opponents O line honest.  Mike Nolan likes to bring waves at the QB and would salivate at having Mack on one side and Umenyiora on the other.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick #7

I really believe that Tampa will be better suited to draft an OL like Jake Matthews.  Many 'experts' have Mack slotted to be scooped up by Tampa Bay.  The reason is Mack's versatility and head coach Lovie Smith's past drafting players like Mack.  I would not be shocked if the Buccaneers take Mack at number 7 but not holding my breathe.

Minnesota Vikings Pick #8

The linebacking core and pass rushing is a huge hole for the Vikings. The only linebacker that could be counted on last season for the Vikings was Chad Greenway.  The Iowa product is 31 years old and will be replaced in the coming years.  Vikings also lost out on sack production with Jared Allen leaving via free agency to the Chicago Bears.  If Mack is available at the eight spot, watch the Vikings brass do a happy dance.

Other teams that could be in the mix in Khalil drops could be the Buffalo Bills.  Buffalo found a stud in the second round last year and the Legend of Kiko exploded in Buffalo.  Mack with Kiko would be a great fit for a defense ranked 20th in scoring and gave up way to may big plays last season.

Could a team trade up for Mack?  The 49ers line-backing core is in shambles with the recent Aldo Smith fiasco.No way does San Fran replace Smith's role with drafting 30th. The Detroit lines with a great front could use a game changing linebacker especially with Green Bay and Chicago on the uptick this season.  The Philadelphia Eagles biggest weakness is a pass rusher.  Team leader Trent Cole on the downside of his career led the team with 8 sacks last year.  Teams would also have a need at outside linebacker are New Orleans, Cincinnati, San Diego.



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