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Khalil Mack wins 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The sky’s the limit for former Buffalo Bull and top-five draft pick Khalil Mack, who today claimed 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors after a third season that saw him total double-digit sacks for the second straight year.

Though Mack’s sack totals aren’t as impressive as 2015, he bolstered his case this year with a run of strip-sacks and forced fumbles in the middle of the season, frequently at his most dangerous in the fourth quarter.

Mack, along with fellow 2014-draftee Derek Carr, helped lead the Raiders back to the playoffs for the first time in fourteen years.

Often compared head to head with division rival Von Miller, the Denver edge rusher who tallied 78 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles on the year, Mack is the first of the two to win DPOY honors, and the first Raider since cornerback Lester Hayes in 1980.