It’s no secret, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to improve their pass rush. Especially if there is any weight to the thought that Darrelle Revis might be traded.
This has some draft experts assuming that with the 7th pick of the draft the Buccaneers will take a long hard look at Khalil Mack from Buffalo. Mack adds a dynamic skill set as a pass rusher and is a versatile athlete.
The 6-foot-3 250 pound outside linebacker wowed all 32 NFL teams at his recent pro day. Not only did Mack do a number of football drills where he reportedly lookes very fluid in terms football movements, but he apparently ran a very fast 40-yard dash time.
After running a 4.65 at the NFL Combine Mack improved his speed numbers and likely his draft stock as he registered a time in the range of 4.53-4.55.
While his talent is undeniable and he achieved great success in college after being overlooked as a high school recruit, I have concerns about Mack becoming a Buccaneer.
In a perfect world, I believe Mack would actually play the same position, (weak-side linebacker) as Lavonte David. Could Mack or David transition into and become a star strong-side linebacker? Definitely. Especially with coaches like Hardy Nickerson and Lovie Smith helping groom them. Mack would be the likely candidate given his bigger frame.
However, where Mack really excels is in his pass rush. Yes this is what we have established the Buccaneers need, but he would not offer an every down solution. Historically, Lovie Smith does not rely too much on blitzing his linebackers.
This already brings up concern for David, who registered seven sacks in his sophomore season. Not to mention basically, rendering Mack’s most intriguing skill set useless. Some will say Mack can play defensive end, and while he could, he wouldn’t be the player he will be at the second level. To move Mack to putting a hand in the ground on every play would create another Aaron Maybin.
When all is said and done, we have to trust that if a defensive mind like Smith wants Mack on his team he won’t be misused and nobody would be upset if he is the guy.
However there may be better fits than this Ft. Pierce, Florida native.