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12 Days of Bull Run Christmas: Mack Fifth Overall

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fell behind on this a little bit, but we'll be back to our usual morning schedule tomorrow. Today, the 12 Days of Bull Run Christmas bring us to bar-none the biggest story of the year.

The biggest football win of the 2012 season came after the end of the 4-8 year that saw the team end on a slight uptick. Then-Head Coach Jeff Quinn was able to keep linebacker Khalil Mack in Buffalo for his senior year. Come 2013, that decision panned out well for everyone involved.

Just by staying for his senior year, Mack got draft buzz throughout the postseason, and cemented his status not just as a first-rounder, but in the Top 10 of the 2014 draft. Khalil of course, proved his worth game in and game out, put up combine numbers that rivaled those of power conference stud Jadaveon Clowney, and credibly inserted himself into the #1 overall conversation.

Come draft day, Mack would slip to fifth, not just past the top three, but past a trading-up Buffalo Bills franchise, and ended up going to the Oakland Raiders. It wasn't the second consecutive MAC #1 overall pick that some were hoping for, but #5 was still by far the highest any Buffalo Bull had ever been selected in the Draft. Before Khalil, UB fans saying "fifth" would be far more likely to be talking about rounds, not picks.

Since the draft, Mack has established himself as one of the top linebackers, rookie or otherwise, in the league thanks to his excellent run defense and constant presence in the backfield despite a dampened sack total. Pro Football Focus would send him to the Pro Bowl, and he looks to form a formidable combo with Sio Moore in the Raiders organization for years to come.