Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Mack: Why The Jacksonville Jaguars Should Pass

Every year, during the few months between the end of the season and the NFL Draft, tons of mock drafts are published for readers to sink their teeth into. While there are multiple mocks from hundreds of authors, it always seems that during the final month or so of the process, everyone comes to a general consensus on a certain player going to a certain team. This year that award goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Khalil Mack third overall.

When the process started, the main thought was the Jaguars would be selecting a quarterback, or possibly Jadeveon Clowney if he were to slip to pick three. Now that thought has shifted into pairing up defensive-minded Head Coach Gus Bradley with a versatile player who could slide around and play multiple positions. But is Khalil Mack really that versatile, and more importantly is he worth the number three overall pick?

Let me start by saying in no way am I trying to trash Mack. I do think he is a first round talent, just not a top ten talent. And that is where my problem lies with him: I think he will be a good, not great, player. If I’m playing General Manager, and I’m picking third overall, I’m picking what I believe to be an elite talent or a top quarterback. My other issue with Mack is I don’t believe he is as versatile as he is made out to be. It seems that Mack is the perfect example of a guy who is mislabeled as versatile because he lines up at different spots on the field, and has had at least some success in those areas. But if you ask me, a player should only really be labeled versatile if he can be strongly effective at different positions, and I don’t think Mack fits that bill.

When I first started watching video of Khalil Mack, I actually really liked him. This was probably because I started with his now infamous Ohio State game, which was arguably his most impressive performance. As I watched more games, however, I noticed that Mack was not always the dominating force he was in the OSU game. He would struggle to get off blocks. He would be slow in analyzing a play. He wasn’t creating consistent pressure in the backfield. It wasn’t as if Mack looked terrible in all those areas, it was the fact that he didn’t look elite in any of those areas. This is my issue with Mack: can he become elite at pass rushing? Can he be elite at dropping into coverage? Can he give me a consistent effort? Can he play with his hand on the ground?

The first time I saw Khalil Mack being compared to Jadeveon Clowney, I nearly threw up. These two players aren’t even in the same realm in my opinion. Clowney is an elite talent at both rushing the passer and causing general disruption in the backfield, making him a perfect candidate for the LEO position. Mack, however, is not elite at those areas, which has led to most analysts labeling him as a SLB on 1st and 2nd downs, and moving to LEO on 3rd downs. I also find it funny that Clowney is constantly bagged about his effort, while when watching Mack I saw several plays where he only gave half an effort, or stopped going once he saw the play was being run in the opposite direction.

If the Jaguars were picking in the mid-to-late first round, I would have no issue picking Khalil Mack. But at third overall, the price is just too high for my tastes. Factor in the idea that at three you could still be looking at a top QB like Bridgewater or Manziel, an elite WR like Sammy Watkins, or possibly even Jadeveon Clowney(albeit with a miracle), and there’s no way I’m selecting Mack third overall. Will Dave Caldwell feel the same way? Thankfully, we now have less than a week to find out.

Follow and play along on Twitter – @Matt_Hoffman28


Next Jaguars Game View full schedule »
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Jacksonville Jaguars Khalil Mack

  • Bobby Postma

    Bridgewater is not a top qb though

    • Matt Hoffman

      That’s purely opinion. I believe he is. So do a lot of other people. Some don’t.

      • Bobby Postma

        Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have him, I just would think that we would be able to trade up and grab him latest on, we should grab someone to help him out first. Someone like Sammy Watkins. I also think that khalil Mack would be a beast for our defense. And to be honest, the only reason I’m hesitant about bridgewater is his size. The way our qb gets hit every year, every game, I just don’t see him playing 16 games a season, I’m afraid that we will invest a first round pick for someone who won’t stay healthy. That’s my only knock on him. That’s just my opinion and I’m sorry I knocked on yours. I apologize

        • Bobby Postma

          But then again I wad one of those Blaine believers who stood behind him, thinking he would be better then henne so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. Lol

        • Matt Hoffman

          No worries man! Its good to have differing opinions, it leads to a better discussion! I think the reason I’m not worried about Bridgewater’s size is that he is not a guy that likes to take off and run, which is when QBs seem to get injured more. Also the fact that he never missed a game due to injury, and even played and played well with major injuries (Broken jaw, broken wrist, ankle sprain).

    • Matt Hoffman

      Why do you believe he isn’t, out of curiosity?

  • mike33901

    My question with bridgewater is lack of arm strength and lack of top caliber competition in college. In a defense first, run offense scheme, you have to be able to throw deep. especially deep outs. I have not seen bridgewater throw those type of passes without throwing a rainbow. i also, do not want to take a qb later in the draft to hope to “develop” him. lets concentrate on upgrading the overall quality of the team. we are 2 – 3 years out in my opinion. no use in gambling